Train Wreck Politics header image 4

Entries from September 2008

Why we overreact to terrorism

September 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

Good episode of Real Time this weekend.  Bill Maher wonders how America would have reacted to recent events– the Metrolink crash in Los Angeles and Hurricane Ike– had they been the result of terrorism. What differentiates terrorism from natural and accidental disasters is that terrorism is, by my definition, politically motivated violence with the threat of [...]

[

Tags: World News

Media desperate to spark racial controversy, part 2

September 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

Today, the AP takes another shot at changing the national conversation from the trivial– collapse of capitalism, government takeover of Wall Street, $25/barrel rise in the price of oil in the last hour– to the vastly more important, publishing a story titled: “Hey, why is everyone still talking about this boring economy stuff when BLACK [...]

[

Tags: Media

Media desperate to spark racial controversy

September 21st, 2008 · 7 Comments

Yesterday, the Associated Press posted a story titled “Poll: Racial views steer some white Dems away from Obama.”  So in case you are the one American who was previously unaware of this obscure concept called racism, apparently it will lead some whites to not vote for the black guy.  Just for fun, I’ve come up with a few story ideas that [...]

[

Tags: Barack Obama · Democrats · John McCain · Media · Republicans

“I’m John McCain, and I approved this message”

September 21st, 2008 · 1 Comment

Not as good as the Palin skit, but in case you missed Saturday Night Live last night: My question is, when are they gonna figure out how to make a Barack Obama skit funny? Fred Armisen didn’t get the job done last season, and after an entire summer to work on it, they haven’t even [...]

[

Tags: Entertainment · John McCain · Republicans

President of the Flies

September 19th, 2008 · No Comments

(h/t Ben Smith) One of the least discussed issues in this presidential campaign is how each candidate plans to protect America from the ever-increasing threat of annoying houseflies.  Let’s look at each of their records on the issue. In a recent MSNBC interview, John McCain appears to favor a non-interventionist fly strategy– ignore the problem until it goes away. This strategy does [...]

[

Tags: Barack Obama · Democrats · John McCain · Republicans

Barack Obama’s e-mail hacked!

September 19th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Reports are surfacing that the same group of hackers who broke into Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account may also have gotten to Barack Obama’s.  This screenshot of his account was sent to the media as proof and is already raising eyebrows.  More on this as it develops.

[

Tags: Barack Obama · Democrats · Republicans · Sarah Palin · Technology

Blame Republicans, not Bush (aka the Welcome back, Warner post)

September 19th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Reader Warner makes a critical point about the “blame Bush” strategy that I and the Obama campaign are perhaps underemphasizing.  I made the point yesterday that “The fact that Americans are now focused on the serious business of government and are now forced to confront the absolute failure of the Bush administration” benefits Barack Obama.  Warner responds: The problem [...]

[

Tags: Barack Obama · Democrats · John McCain · Republicans

Don’t get too excited about Obama’s bounce

September 18th, 2008 · 1 Comment

After a rough two weeks behind John McCain, all the major polling trackers seem to have shifted back in Barack Obama’s direction.  He’s up 4 in Gallup, and up 2 in Real Clear Politics and Pollster.  But despite all the good news, this is no time for Democrats to start breathing easy. Here’s three good reasons [...]

[

Tags: Barack Obama · Democrats · John McCain · Media · Republicans · Sarah Palin

Why this isn’t sexist

September 18th, 2008 · 7 Comments

Maybe the crudest instance of sexism in the race thus far took place live on Fox News this morning, as conservative writer Caroline Baum used a pretty vulgar term– vulgar enough to literally clear the room– regarding the female anatomy to explain why Sarah Palin may or may not appeal to Hillary Clinton voters. So [...]

[

Tags: Media · Republicans · Sarah Palin

About Sarah Palin’s 80 percent approval rating

September 17th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Rich Lowry is the latest among many to wave Sarah Palin’s approval rating in Alaska around as proof of competence, despite all evidence to the contrary: The first days after her announcement brought gross misreporting and personal smears … followed by front-page Washington Post and New York Times reports on her tenure in Alaska that were so hostile they [...]

[

Tags: Republicans · Sarah Palin

CNN Black Monday makeout prank

September 17th, 2008 · No Comments

42 seconds in– when live reporting goes wrong. Looks like the economic meltdown is hitting Lehman Brothers harder than we thought.

[

Tags: Media

McCain aide Carly Fiorina rapidly turning into female Al Sharpton

September 16th, 2008 · No Comments

Yesterday, Carly Fiorina– former CEO of Hewlitt-Packard and top McCain campaign aide– accused Tina Fey and Amy Poehler of sexism for their hilarious Saturday Night Live skit roasting Sarah Palin. “The portrait was very dismissive of the substance of Sarah Palin, and so in that sense, they were defining Hillary Clinton as very substantive, and Sarah Palin [...]

[

Tags: John McCain · Republicans · Sarah Palin

Barack Dukakis?

September 15th, 2008 · 7 Comments

Jonathan Martin over at Politico posts a Michael Dukakis campaign commercial from 1988 that could, almost word-for-word, be running with Barack Obama in it today. Granted, the country right now is a lot closer to 1992 than it is 1988. But the similarities in message and style between this commercial– by a candidate who lost [...]

[

Tags: Barack Obama · Democrats · John McCain · Republicans

Train wreck economics

September 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I don’t know much about economics, but I do know who Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch are, and this news strikes me as, um, really bad.  If the media allows the McCain campaign to turn the national discussion of this week into something like lipstick and livestock, then America is in enormous trouble. This is where we’re at after eight [...]

[

Tags: Economy and Business · John McCain · Republicans

Tina Fey rocks Sarah Palin’s world on SNL

September 14th, 2008 · No Comments

In case you missed it, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler opened the new season of Saturday Night Live with a hilarious parody of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin– the two queens of train wreck politics– in what is instantly one of the best SNL political sketches ever. You knew it was coming, you just didn’t [...]

[

Tags: Democrats · Entertainment · Hillary Clinton · Republicans · Sarah Palin