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Too Sense



Race, Politics and Hip-hop.



Last Build Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2008 08:24:10 +0000

 



One Chapter Begins, As Another One Ends

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 20:22:00 +0000

If you've read any of my posts here over the last 9+ months, it should go without saying that I am thrilled with Obama's victory yesterday. He won decisively, with extremely high turnout, even taking some states that had previously been safe bets for the Republicans. More so than with any other election during my lifetime, this election feels like the begining of something truly new in American politics. People are still focusing on Obama's blackness as his most significant difference with other Presidents. Over time, though, I think they are going to come to realize that there are a lot of ways in which Obama is unique as a President that have nothing to do with his race.

While I celebrate the start of this new chapter, I believe the time has come to announce the closing of another chapter: my involvement with Too Sense.

Writing here has been an awesome experience, and I will always be thankful to dnA for offering me the chance. I've enjoyed the interactions with our regular commenters, as well as the occasional interplay with other blogs. I hope that on at least a few occasions I've been able to come forward with something worthwhile to say.

For all of the good things about this blog, the truth is it comes with one major downside: it is very, very time consuming. In order to maintain currency, and some level of quality, I would need to devote time that I really do not have to give.

This decision is based partly upon my work circumstances, but more so upon the needs of my family. The free time I have away from work is time that my family needs, and I cannot justify robbing them of my presence in order to carry on with what amounts to an unpaid hobby.

This site will remain online, at least until dnA removes it (I don't have admin control over the site). But I won't be doing any more posts.

Thank you all for reading. Thank you for responding. Thank you for allowing me into your (virtual) lives. It has been an honor and a privilege. I wish blessings and good fortune for all of you.

One Drop, signing off...





Opie, Andy, Richie and Fonzie for Obama

Fri, 24 Oct 2008 13:47:00 +0000

Looks like the heartland vote really is lining up forObama:

(object) (embed)

At least, the Nick at Night version of the heartland vote.

Damn, it's good to see the Fonz again. Shark-jump or no shark-jump, he's one of the coolest mofos ever. And I don't care how lame I sound by saying that!

H/T: Sully




McCain Fail English? That's Unpossible!

Wed, 22 Oct 2008 13:47:00 +0000

Memo to McCain: your assorted hacks and chimps-with-typewriters have spent a lot of time writing (allegedly) clever attack lines for you to use on the stump. The least you could do would be to deliver them correctly:
In Belton, Missouri, Monday, McCain was supposed to say, "Just last night, Senator Biden guaranteed that if Senator Obama is elected, we will have an international crisis to test America's new President. We don't want a President who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars."

What he actually said, per ABC News' Bret Hovell: "Just last night, Senator Obama (sic) guaranteed that if Senator Obama is elected, Senator Biden said, we will have an international crisis to test America's new President," etc. etc.

He flubbed it again in the extended version of the attack.

"What's more troubling is that Senator Obama (sic) told their campaign donors that when that crisis hits, they would have to stand with them because it wouldn't be apparent Senator Obama would have the right response."

And this is from a Teleprompter!

And then we have this beauty:

(embed)

For a party that loves to talk about "English first", the GOP sure has a knack for nominating candidates that treat English like a third language picked up while listening drunkenly to a Berlitz tape in a hostel...



McCain Gets Ganked

Tue, 21 Oct 2008 23:14:00 +0000

This is one of Obama's new ads, going up in Virginia:

(object) (embed)

Strong, quick, to the point. Good display of predatory instinct: grab the rabbit by the neck and shake that little sucker till it's finished...

H/T: TPM

NOTE: to those who might not be familiar with the verb "gank", don't rely on the Urban Dictionary's definition, which was clearly written by 16-year-old MMO nerds. The term goes way back, at least to the mid-80s, and is basically a stronger version of "dis." To get dissed is one thing, but to get ganked is to get so badly dissed as to be embarassed in the process. Akin to getting verbally "bitch slapped" or "pimped."




Regarding Obama's Grandparents

Tue, 21 Oct 2008 17:18:00 +0000

Ta-Nehisi has an excellent post up, talking about Obama's grandparents and the choices they made when Obama was a child: But now, more than anyone, I am thinking of Barack Obama's grandparents. One of the big mistakes we make when we look at the history of race in this country is to focus on big people and big events. What should be remembered is that, though our racial history is mired in utter disgrace, though the deep cowardice of post-reconstruction haunts us into the 21st century, at any point on the timeline, you can find ordinary white people doing the right thing. Frederick Douglass, himself a biracial black man, is a hero of mine. But arguably more heroic, is Helen Pitts, his second wife--a white woman, who traced her history back to the Mayflower, whose ancestors founded Richmond, Va,, and who was cast out for marrying Douglass. Here is a white woman who spent the best years of life fighting for suffrage and racial justice. After Douglass died, she dedicated the rest of her life to seeing him honored, when everyone else was on the verge of forgetting. Please read up on her. She was the truth.Likewise, I was looking at this picture of Obama's grandparents and thinking how much he looks like his grandfather. And suddenly, for whatever reason, I was struck by the fact that they had made the decision to love their daughter, no matter what, and love their grandson, no matter what. I'd bet money that they never even thought of themselves as courageous, that they didn't give much thought to the broader struggles in the the world at the time. They were just doing what right, honorable people do. But the fact is that, in the 60s, you could be disowned for falling in love with a black woman or black man. There is a reason why we have a long history of publicly biracial black people, but not so much of publicly biracial white people.We often give a pass to racists by noting that they were "of their times." Fair enough, and I know Hawaii was a different beast, but still, today, let us speak of people who were ahead of their times, who were outside of their times. Let us remember that Barack Obama learned the great lessons of life from courageous white people. Let us speak of those who do what normal, right people should always do when faced with a child--commit an act love. Here's to doing the right thing.I agree wholeheartedly with TNC. For personal reasons, Obama's relationship with his grandparents resonates very strongly with me. Not because I had that same sort of bond with mine, but because I did not.You see, while it is very true that Obama's grandparents did the right thing by choosing to love and accept him, we must always keep in mind that this was a choice on their part. Nothing was forcing them to do so, other than their own personal morals. Had they turned away from their daughter, rejected their new son-in-law, and denied their grandson, their choice would have been accepted by society at large. People might have personally disagreed, but the Dunham's wouldn't have been castigated.I've written before about the racial attitudes of my grandparents. It is a difficult topic to discuss, because I loved them, and wanted a relationship with them. But that became less and less possible as I got older, as I made black friends, and especially as I dated and eventually married a black woman. My best friend in the world never met my grandparents, because I did not want to subject him to their attitudes. Even if they didn't say anything racist, it would have been too clear to miss.As much as I loved my grandparents, I have always had one basic requirement for any of my family members: take me as I am, or not at all. I wasn't going to pretend that my friends were not who they were. I wasn't going to hide the fact of who I dated. And I damned sure wasn't going to hide my marriage (hard to do that when the wedding is at St. Louis Cathedral). I knew what I thought was right, and I had to stay true to that, otherwise w[...]



Rick Davis: King Of The WAWP

Mon, 20 Oct 2008 22:56:00 +0000

I have a new acronym that I'd like to introduce to the world: WAWP...short for Whinin' Ass White People (or person, depending on context). It specifically refers to those white people who claim to be victimized by accusations of racism.The current honorary King of the WAWP: Rick Davis of the McCain Campaign. "Look, John McCain has told us a long time ago before this campaign ever got started, back in May, I think, that from his perspective, he was not going to have his campaign actively involved in using Jeremiah Wright as a wedge in this campaign," he said late last week. "Now since then, I must say, when Congressman Lewis calls John McCain and Sarah Palin and his entire group of supporters, fifty million people strong around this country, that we're all racists and we should be compared to George Wallace and the kind of horrible segregation and evil and horrible politics that was played at that time, you know, that you've got to rethink all these things. And so I think we're in the process of looking at how we're going to close this campaign. We've got 19 days, and we're taking serious all these issues."First of all, that's not even close to what Lewis said. Here is the key passage from Jonathan Martin's original story about Lewis' comments:Civil rights icon and Georgia congressman John Lewis is accusing John McCain and Sarah Palin of stoking hate, likening the atmosphere at Republican campaign events to those featuring George Wallace, the segregationist former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate. McCain's campaign has responded with a statement in the candidate's name, urging Barack Obama to repudiate Lewis's comments."What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history," Lewis said in a statement issued today for Politico's Arena forum. "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse."Lewis didn't accuse McCain of imitating Wallace, but suggested there were similarities."George Wallace never threw a bomb," Lewis noted. "He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama."...[McCain's response:] "I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I've always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track," the GOP nominee said in a statement this afternoon.Nothing in Lewis' statements makes any reference to the people turning out to support McCain, much less any blanket statements about those people. But McCain has responded as if the honor of his poor, downtrodden supporters has been smeared. He even went so far as to offer the following defense of Veterans With Hats:“Whenever you get a large rally of 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 people, you're going to have some fringe peoples,” McCain said.“But to somehow say that group of young women who said, 'Military wives for McCain' are somehow saying anything derogatory about you . . . and those veterans that wear those hats that say 'World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq,' I'm not going to stand for people saying that the people that come to my rallies are anything but the most dedicated, patriotic men and women that are in this nation, and they're great citizens.”I'm already on record agreeing with Lewis' comments. Well, more accurately, I made some very similar observations a couple of days before Lewis did:...[T]here's just no way that the Republicans don't know what they're doing. The Dixiecrats, after all, became closely intertwined with the core power structure of the G[...]



Voting Machines Changing Obama Votes To McCain Votes?

Mon, 20 Oct 2008 16:19:00 +0000

In the past couple of days there have been reports of problems with the voting machines being used for early voting in some West Virginia counties.WINFIELD - Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain."In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.They also blamed voters for not being more careful."People make mistakes more than machines," said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield."I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines."I asked them for a printout of my votes," Ketchum said. "But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way."I heard from some other people; they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it," said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.Ketchum's son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe."I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead," Oates said of her experience Thursday.She said she caught the mistake, called over a worker in the county clerk's office and was able to correct her vote. But she worries other voters may not catch such a mistake....Last week, three Jackson County residents said they experienced similar problems when they cast early ballots at the county courthouse in Ripley.Virginia Matheney, one of those voters, said Friday, "When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain."Retired factory worker Calvin Thomas of Ripley said he experienced the same problem."When I pushed Obama, it jumped to McCain. When I went down to governor's office and punched [Gov. Joe] Manchin, it went to the other dude."After I finished, my daughter voted. When she pushed Obama, it went to McCain. It happened to her the same way it happened to me," Thomas said.Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright, a Republican, said 400 other people voted without reporting any problems.Wood said he and Waybright are both very careful to guarantee people's votes are recorded properly.Wood said, "Voting machines are very reliable. I hate the fact that stories like this are printed. It makes everybody get scared."That is not good for anybody. Where the fault is, I don't know and the voter doesn't know. There needs to be good communication between the voters and the poll workers."...Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood said on Saturday that he is upset there are "so many negative stories out there and not enough positive ones. We want people to vote. People need to know the facts."But we haven't had any major issues. We try to explain to voters how the machines work when they come in," Wood said.This is the reason why the new generation of computerized voting machines worries me so much. There are known, pervasive vulnerabilities in Diebold's Voting System, as well as with the Hart InterCivic Voting Systems and the Sequoia Voting System. These security flaws could potentially enable a person to alter the code of single voting machine and have that altered code spread to every other networked machin[...]



Just As I Expected

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 18:02:00 +0000

The Wingers are indeed responding as I predicted below.

Here's Mount Rushbo's comment:
Rush Limbaugh said Colin Powell's decision to get behind Barack Obama appeared to be very much tied to Obama's status as the first African-American with a chance to become president.

"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race," Limbaugh wrote in an e-mail. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."

As for Powell's statement of concern this morning about the sort of Supreme Court justices a President McCain might appoint, Limbaugh wrote: "I was also unaware of his dislike for John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. I guess he also regrets Reagan and Bush making him a four-star [general] and secretary of state and appointing his son to head the FCC. Yes, let's hear it for transformational figures."


What can I say, I used the Force...



Ungrateful Negro Colin Powell Endorses Obama

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 14:48:00 +0000

The recent rumors about Colin Powell's intentions have now been confirmed: during this morning's taping of Meet the Press, Powell endorsed Barack Obama, saying, among other things, the following:
"[W]hen I look at all of this... But which is the president that we need now... I come to the conclusion ... because of who he is, he has both style and substance ... I think he is a transformational figure... For that reason, I will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama."

I figure by noon we'll be seeing cries of righteous outrage from the Wingers about Powell's "betrayal" of Bush and the GOP. They're almost certain to rant about the GOP having "made Powell into what he is today" or something similar. And expect at least a handful of them to claim that this endorsement is only because Obama is black, and Powell is voting racially. The none-too-subtle subtext of their response is going to boil down to "We let that nigra get this far, and look at the thanks he shows us! Look at the loyalty! Damned uppity, shiftless..."

Of course, the Right is going to have significant credibility problems attacking Powell, after they spent the last 18 years lionizing him. Powell has been one of their defenses against charges of GOP racism ("Of course we're not racist! Look who we put in charge of the Joint Chiefs of Staff!"), as well as their paradigmatic example of an acceptable black public figure (namely, one that is generally reticent to buck the system, and doesn't shoot off at the mouth). Indeed, if any black man was ever going to have a realistic chance of winning the GOP nomination for President, it would have been Powell. As much as it is the Right's modus operandi to villify those who criticize them, Powell has a virtually un-assailable public reputation (other than the disasterous UN presentation just before the Iraq war began).

If I were inclined to think of Powell as a purely political man, given to grudges and acts of petty revenge like so many others in Washington, I would say that this is his last jab at Cheney's wing of the administration. But, the truth is, I think Powell is very likely sincere in his belief that this is what's best for the country. If he didn't, I don't think he would be making this endorsement, even if it did give him a chance to stick it to Cheney.

EDIT: Here's the Powell video.

height="339" width="425" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/27265490#27265490" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">




Obama Campaign Bus Stopped In Mississippi

Sat, 18 Oct 2008 15:59:00 +0000

NOTE: this is satire from The Onion, not real news, so don't freak out. But, before you read this, ask yourself one question: when you saw the title of the post, didn't part of you think it might actually have happened? What does that tell us about the state of things today?Southern Sheriff Pulls Over Obama Campaign Bus For Broken TaillightFOXWORTH, MS—Despite obeying the posted speed limit and having all inspection, registration, and insurance documentation up to date, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign bus was stopped for nearly four hours by Marion County deputy sheriff Dewey Clutter while en route to a Jackson, MS speech, sources reported Tuesday.According to those on board the bus—including various journalists, members of the Secret Service, and Obama campaign staffers—several minutes passed before Clutter exited his cruiser. Witness statements all mention hearing the sheriff's jackbooted footsteps along the gravel roadside as he slowly approached the vehicle's passenger side. These reports also assert that, prior to reaching the front of the campaign bus, the sheriff paused momentarily to smash the right rear taillight of the bus before dragging his still-drawn baton along the entire length of the vehicle."Where's the fire, son?" Clutter, 42, was overheard saying to the Illinois senator and 2008 Democratic presidential nominee. "Driving like that in these parts, what with a busted taillight and all, fella like you liable to get hisself into a whole mess a trouble."Obama protested briefly before Clutter interrupted the graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, brusquely informing the senator that he could "detain [Obama's] uppity ass for 48 hours without charging [him] with shit.""Huh. Illinois," Clutter said while scrutinizing Obama's driver's license from behind a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses. "You a long way from home, ain't ya?""Now Barry, someone 'bout your height, 'bout your skin color knocked over a Piggly Wiggly up in New Hebron just a coupla hours ago," Clutter continued. "But you wouldn't know nothin' 'bout that, now would you?"Clutter then turned to Obama's wife, Michelle, looked her up and down, and wiped his mouth with a handkerchief.After questioning the New York Times best-selling author and presidential frontrunner for several minutes about his business in Mississippi and politely asking the Caucasian women on the bus if they were all right, Clutter claimed that he smelled marijuana smoke and initiated a search.According to Clutter's police report, the sheriff then ordered everyone to exit the bus and to place their hands on the side of the vehicle. Clutter then reentered the campaign bus, emerging a few moments later with a stack of documents."Well, well, would you looky here. If it ain't Barry's comprehensive plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq," said Clutter, setting the proposal on fire with a lit cigarette while blowing smoke in Obama's face. "Smart, well-dressed boy like you, I'd a-thought you'd take better care of your things.""Now ain't that a shame," Clutter added.Following the search, witnesses said that Clutter allowed everyone back onto the vehicle with the exception of the senator. Twenty minutes later, a visibly agitated Obama climbed aboard the bus. He reportedly refused to discuss what had happened, and instructed the driver to continue on to Jackson.According to Obama insiders, this is not the first time on the campaign trail that the former president of the Harvard Law Review has had to deal with this type of treatment. While attending a rally in Savannah, GA, Obama was closely followed around the town hall by several armed guards to ensure that he didn't steal anything, and the senator reportedly had trouble canvassing voters in Baton Rouge, LA after everyone he approached crossed to the opposite side of the stre[...]



A Small, Sad Glimpse Of What The Campaign Might Have Been

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 05:23:00 +0000

Obama andMcCain appeared at the Alfred Smith dinner in New York city. As is customary, each gave a humorous speech in front of an assembled crowd of media and political figures.

(object) (embed)

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Watching McCain, I couldn't help but think that if he had shown the same grace during this campaign that he showed on stage in praising Obama, or even the good humor he showed in roasting Obama, the tone of this nasty affair could have been so much different.

It makes little difference to me whether the burn-the-crops-and-salt-the-earth tactics of McCain's campaign were really the tactics he wanted to use. Whether he Was persuaded or coerced to go down this pathway, or chose it for himself, the simple fact is that he has walked the path, whoever drew the map. If the powers that be within his party were forcing him to run a campaign that he didn't feel like he could take pride in, he could have stepped aside. A difficult choice, to be sure, but an available choice nonetheless.

McCain made his choices, and he ran his campaign. And he has done a terrible and lasting disservice to his own good name. Watching him just now, I kept seeing what seemed like fleeting glimpses of a better man, someone who could have risen to the challenges of the campaign without slipping down into the sewers in an effort to win. What a shame for him, and for all of us, that that was not the man who campaigned for President in the last several months.



NOTE: There seem to be some sync issues with the McCain clip, but you can find a better version of the entire thing here (I could not get it to imbed properly in this post).



Just Don't Call The GOP Racists

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 01:04:00 +0000

(image)

Nope, they're not racist at all.

Makes me so proud to be a white American, lemme tell ya...




Finally Figured Out Who McCain Reminds Me Of...

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 21:53:00 +0000

Much asJohn McCain and Saul Tigh look alike, lately I've been watching McCain and thinking to myself that he reminded me of someone, I just couldn't put my finger on who that was. The weird grimaces, contortions, off proununciation. Then it hit me:

(image)

(image)




That's It, I'm Suing For Emancipation

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 21:20:00 +0000

Okay, that's it. I'm done. I've officially had it.

(object) (embed)

You know how kids can sue to have themselves emancipated from their parents? Go off on their own, legally independent, et cetera? I'm gonna sue to emancipate myself from these kinds of white people. It's gonna be tricky to draw up the right language, because I'm not looking to sever associations with all of my white brothers and sisters. But those motherfuckers in the video? Those have got to go.

I'm gonna do the white version of Chris Rock's famous "niggas vs black people" routine. Just substitute...well, see, there isn't a true white equivalent for the n-word. Cracker, redneck, PWT, et cetera can carry similar meanings, but they don't have the same weight. When you hear black folks talking about regular black folks versus "niggas" you know exactly what kind of peopler are being discussed. Refer to crackers or rednecks, you could have a pretty wide range of meanings.

Terminology aside, in the immortal words of Hillary Clinton, I reject and denounce those jackasses. I am so sick of this being the face of "real, hard-working white America", like there aren't any salt-of-the-Earth white folks who aren't also psychotic, virulent racists, ignorant xenophobes, or religious whack-jobs.

It's people like this that give the white working-class and lower-class a bad reputation. Some of us actually prize knowledge, and education. Some of us read books...for fun. Some of us work our way up from modest means to try to go further in life. Some of us are perfectly fine with people from other races, religions, cultures, what have you. Some of us are fully capable of loving ourselves, our history, and our culture, without hating everything and everybody else. And we don't need these cousin-lovin' pig-fuckers dragging us down, see?

Point being...I ain't responsible for those people in the video, they don't speak for me, they ain't related to me, no blood, no culture, not a motherfucking thing. They can kiss my hairy white ass until it bleeds.

H/T: TNC



Barry Puts The Boot In

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 15:16:00 +0000

Damn, this is just cold:

(embed)

As Run-DMC would say, "Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good!" Or, in the immortal words of 3rd Bass, "Gas face given!"


PS, memo to McCain: Pops, you just got the dilznick.





Special Needs McCain

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 05:55:00 +0000

Just a friendly pointer for McCain: Autism and Down Syndrome? Not the same thing, dude.

I asked my oldest daughter if she thought Autism and Down Syndrome were the same. She looked at me like I was either crazy, or stupid, or both, for even asking the question.

She's ten, folks.




The Final Debate, In A Nutshell

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 05:30:00 +0000

Look, I'm not even gonna try to front and get all complicated with my reaction. All I'll say is this:

That motherfucker is crazy.

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SEIU Reads Too Sense?

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 22:18:00 +0000

Back during the Democratic Convention (you know, pre-Sarah-You-Betcha), I got a little worried and frustrated because it seemed to me that the Democrats were taking the wrong approach by being so defensive, trying to convince everyone just how much Obama loves Mom, apple pie, the flag, and Coca-Cola. These were some of my suggestions at the time:
I'm not a politician or a political operative, but I am a civil litigator, and I've worked on some huge, multi-million dollar cases (billions, in the case of Napster). So I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to effectively fight and win when the stakes are enormous.

You don't do it by letting the other side dictate the terms of the fight.

You don't do it by being defensive, even if in fact you are the one defending.

You don't do it by hesitating, by blinking, or by second-guessing.

You size up your opponent, identify their weak spot, and hit it quickly, efficiently, and decisively. If you can't sum up in one sentence why you should win, you need to rethink your approach until you can. Any argument that takes more than a single sentence to convey will lose. Period. End of story.
...
You want to know how to sum this entire election up?

Simple:

Barack Obama should win because he will turn this country around from the 8-year disaster of George W Bush, while John McCain won't turn anything around, because he's just like George W Bush, only worse.

Well, either great minds (okay, slightly above average minds) think alike, or some of the message folks over at SEIU have been reading Too Sense:


(object) (embed)

In fact, I have to give them props. They broke down the argument much more elegantly than I did.

"Joh McCain: Bush, but worse."

Simple, direct. I like it!





It's Not Who You Are Underneath But What You Do That Defines You

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 14:58:00 +0000

As McCain's and Palin's rallies have gotten uglier and uglier, and McCain's overall strategy has gotten more aggressive and more negative, one of the questions that keeps coming up, at least among commentators, is whether McCain's heart is really in this negative stuff. Does he really believe that Obama pals around with terrorists? Does he really think Obama is dangerous, or radical? My response: does it really matter whether he does or not?

Let's say for the sake of argument that McCain is no racist. Let's say he doesn't see Obama as some terrorist-befriending leftist radical who is going to destroy America. If that's true, how is it relevant, given the fact that McCain, Palin, their surrogates, and their supporters have been using those very arguments to support their campaign? As Rachel Dawes said in Batman Begins, "It's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you."

Put another way: would anything change for you if you found out that deep in his heart of hearts Jeffrey Dahmer longed to be a meek, harmless vegetarian?




My Apologies To The People Of Mobile...

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 21:11:00 +0000

To the fine folks of Mobile, Alabama, I apologize for your recent lack of sleep. That loud whirring noise you've been hearing night and day all over town is the sound of my grandmother, spinning in her grave as Obama gets closer and closer to the White House.

Sorry for the disruption...


I suppose it's a good thing she wasn't cremated. The mess would have been awful.




"My Father Walked Into That Booth..."

Tue, 14 Oct 2008 21:02:00 +0000

Ta-Nehisi posted a very heartfelt note from one of his readers:My father (85 year old African-American and, in fact, a "publicintellectual" who helped coin the phrase "African-American" 40 years ago, a phrase we now take for granted on our census forms) and his wife (77 old European-American, the term they both hope will replace "white" someday, and life-long civil rights activist and academic) voted this morning in Atlanta, GA. My stepmother emailed me this morning to tell me about their experience, early voting, getting "fragile elderly" treatment from the poll-workers, wishing she could kick up herseptuagenarian heels after casting her vote.I sat in my office, reading her email, and wept. Then, I went down the hall to my colleague's office, sat down, and wept. After seven decades of constant struggle, my father walked into that booth and knew that his life's work was now done. My stepmother can think of every person who secretly and not-so-secretly thought of her as some kind of race traitor, smile and think "I told you so!"Obama will win, I'm sure he will. But today, my parents did. I am so deeply, deeply grateful.In the comments section for that post, a commenter by the name of "Phil" added the following:We will all wake up the day after the election completely astounded by how every object in America has suddenly been painted overnight in a thousand shades of American.Little things will make you cry for no reason, because as your mind wanders over this or that, it will be as if you start to feel a cool breeze coming down from the mountain top.We won't be there yet. But everything around us will start to tell us how much closer we are. The street, the sky, the face of every stranger, will say something never heard before: this now can be our America.Remember every slave when you wake up that day. Remember every soul tossed over the side of a ship as so much excess weight. Remember every whipped and brutalized body, every amputated life. Remember every unanswered insult and easy presumption of injustice and supremacy. Remember the torches, the dogs, the hoses, the rope, the shot from across the motel.This election is not just a contest between Democrat and Republican. This election is not just an occasion to present a vision for the generations ahead. This election is a conversation between us and those millions who have suffered to come before us in which we covenant to honor their sacrifice with our integrity, their pain with our compassion, their careful intelligence with our pragmatism.Like no other moment in our lives, this is our moment to be witnessed by history, to be with history, to be awed by how much history brings us to sixty million small marks on paper. In this moment, we will not be voting alone.I second their emotions, with all my heart.The closer we get to the election, the more I miss my wife's grandfather, a black man who fought in the invasion of Italy during WWII. He was one of those guys who had an opinion about everything, particularly politics and race relations ("Let me tell you what it was like being a black officer in the Army in WWII..."). Oh, how I wish he had lived to see this election. I can only imagine the conversations we'd have shared.[...]



Do They No Know Who Obama Is...Or Do They Just Not Know Black People?

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 13:06:00 +0000

Obama's been running for President since early 2007, and he's been under near-constant medai scrutiny for at least the last year. He's been interviewed by everyone from Newsweek to Mountainbiker Magazine, he's appeared in a slew of debates and made endless television appearances.Yet the GOP folks keep claiming that we don't really know who Obama is. On the one hand, there's no reason to take the GOP at face value: they know damned well who Obama is, which is why he scares them, and why they keep trying to present him to the voters as some mysterious, unknown (therefore dangerous) quantity.For all of the GOP's insencerity in pushing the claim, I do think there's a fairly good sized chunk of the electorate that honestly doesn't feel as if they know Obama. At least, I believe that's how they explain those feelings to themselves. I think Obama is merely the focal point, however. What they really don't know, still can't understand, is black people.In those parts of the country with few, if any, actual black people, the only exposure to black people comes from television, movies, and music (I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most residents of lily-white regions aren't snagging this month's Ebony magazine in the checkout line). We all know how narrow and distorted the depiction of black folks is in the media. If somebody isn't doing the Mantan Shuffle, they're slanging rocks and riding on 20-inch rims. Or maybe, just maybe, they're lucky enough to be that magical, "soulful" black person who saves an uptight white person (see Bagger Vance, Legend Of; Bullworth). Where does Obama fit in all of that? He doesn't.That, I think, is the root of the strange debate among white folks regarding whether Obama is "black enough" or "too black" to be President. They have a certain paradigm in mind for black people, and Obama isn't it. So they start thinking he's not black "enough" to win. But then he daps up his wife on national television, and talks about Jay-Z and Ludacris, so maybe he's "too black" for the White House. What box to put him in? What box?I think that there are plenty of people smart enough to realize that what they know about black people from the media is either incomplete or wrong (actually, it's both). As this campaign has gone on, I think a lot of these people may have started to realize just how little they know about black people. Hopefully, some of them are starting to wake up. Because here's the thing: just as was the case with the Cosby Show, the only way you can be surprised by the emergence of Barack Obama is if you don't know the black community.For decades there have been black teachers, black lawyers, black doctors. During segregation, the only people who could (or would) provide such services to the black community were other black people. There were entire economies within the larger black enclaves like Harlem: restaurants, shops, offices. Black owners, black workers, black customers. When people were forbidden from going outside the community to get what they needed, the community developed, internally, the ability to provide the necessities. If you know that black lawyers have been around for 100 years, along with black doctors and black teachers (probably even further, actually), the sight of an educated, articulate black man is nothing new or surprising.Note, I'm not waxing romantic about the days of segregation. I'm merely observing that there has been a black professional class for some time now. But that professional class has bee[...]



Suddenly The GOP Thinks Divided Government Is A Good Thing

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 05:55:00 +0000

The GOP has never been known for their (intentional) humor. Nowadays, in addition to not having any sense of humor, they don't have any sense of irony.

How else to explain the newfound Republican concern with divided government?
...McCain should start explicitly making the argument for divided government, with him as the only hope of preserving it. This is unlikely to be a voting issue at the Presidential level, but we need to get the idea percolating that we are about to elect Obama with unchecked, unlimited power. Power corrupts... absolute power corrupts absolutely, etc.
Funny, I seem to remember a Republican President being elected with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, without a peep of concern from the GOP. Indeed, so certain were they that absolute power doesn't corrupt absolutely when the one wielding power is one of their own, they proceeded to rubber-stamp every lame stunt pulled by the Bush administration up until shortly before the midterm elections in 2006. Going along with Bush was taken as an absolute litmus test for GOP acceptance: either you were with Bush, or you were against...well, America, Jeebus, Mom, apple pie, baseball, virginity, and the Star Spangled Banner. Anyone who voiced dissent against Bush was immediately attacked and ridiculed, and God save the poor conservative bastards who lost faith with him (Hi, Sully).

But that was then. Or, more accurately that was them. Unlimited power was fine...for them. They either ignored, ridiculed or attacked all of the Constitutional arguments against leaving Bush unchecked. They fought for the most expansive possible readings of executive power and privilege. And now they're worried about unlimited power? Now? After Blunder Boy managed to destroy vast chunks of the U.S. economy and drive our global prestige underground? Now it's a big deal for them?

Given the 8-year orgy of sycophancy we've just seen from the GOP, they have no standing to argue about divided government, checks and balances, or anything else. Not because those concepts are wrong...they are not. No, the GOP has no right to make these arguments because the concepts were right when they were asserted against Bush, and the GOP did everything they could to undermine them.

The group that has to make the argument for limitations on Obama's power, the group that has to fulfill its responsibilities for oversight and consultation, is the Democrats in Congress. Were Obama to be given the same rubberstamp deference that Bush received from the GOP, all of the arguments against Bush's unrestrained power would be completely invalidated. Those arguments are vital to this republic, whether they are directed against a Republican or against a Democrat. In order to preserve then, Reid and Pelosi are going to have to be vigilant, and hold Obama's feet to the fire from time to time.



New Slogan For The McCain Campaign:

Fri, 10 Oct 2008 22:23:00 +0000

"McCain 2008: At least he's not a nigger!"


I mean, if we're gonna stay on the Straight Talk Express, we might as well have truth in advertising...





McCain's Screaming Hooligans Are Just "Regular People"

Fri, 10 Oct 2008 21:57:00 +0000

I keep telling myself not to be shocked by these people, but really...this statement from the McCain campaign is...just...well, read it first:
Barack Obama's attacks on Americans who support John McCain reveal far more about him than they do about John McCain. It is clear that Barack Obama just doesn't understand regular people and the issues they care about. He dismisses hardworking middle class Americans as clinging to guns and religion, while at the same time attacking average Americans at McCain rallies who are angry at Washington, Wall Street and the status quo," reads a statement from spokesman Brian Rogers. "Even worse, he attacks anyone who dares to question his readiness to serve as their commander in chief in chief. Raising legitimate questions about record, character and judgment are a vital part of the Democratic process, and Barack Obama's effort to silence and shame those who seek answers should make everyone wonder exactly what he is hiding."


People who scream "kill him" are...regular people. People who call Obama a terrorist and a hooligan are...hard working middle-class Americans. Crying out "Off with his head" is merely...raising legitimate concerns about Obama's record and character.

Welcome to the Neo-Confederacy, folks. This kind of defense of the indefensible, this conflation of virulent hatred with salt-of-the-Earth patriotism, this is the very worst aspects of the Dixiecrat ethos, writ large on a national scale.

In a sick kind of way, I have to give the GOP credit. I thought they really couldn't sink any lower, and here they go proving me wrong again. Racial hatred is no longer some fringe element of the GOP, it is now woven into the very basis of their presidential campaign. It is a fundamental part of their public persona.

We are not fighting a mere political campaign here. This is about more than who will occupy the White House come January 20. This is a fight for the very soul of our nation. Either these people win, and let their poison seep even further into the national consciousness, or they are defeated once and for all. It is no longer enough to win the election. We have to defeat everything these people stand for, start to finish.