A guffaw-tionary tale, is more like it. See Adam Peltzman's column in Salon for more good stuff.
My friends, we are not the sum of our possessions. They are not the measure of our lives. In our hearts we know what matters. We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood and town better than he found it. What do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we are no longer there? That we were more driven to succeed than anyone around us? Or that we stopped to ask if a sick child had gotten better, and stayed a moment there to trade a word of friendship?
Leaders like Van Jones still exist.
My hope is that there will be a governing majority ... that is bipartisan, built around a new center of gravity that says, we want the U.S. to be the world leader, but not in war and pollution and incarceration rates.
This new surge of capital would end the credit crunch, and allow old businesses to expand and new ones to start. Wages would grow, along with the overall economy. And as the world invested in America, the dollar would strengthen, as happened in response to the tax cuts that generated the 1980s Reagan boom. This would ease inflationary fears and pressures on the Fed.
It also regrows hair, makes old vinyl upholstery shine like new and brings dead pets back to life. (Only they're evil.)
Of course, that's all crazy talk. The Flat Tax won't do any of those things, any more than eliminating all taxes on people whose names begin with the letters A through K. (Think about it. They'd have more to spend. And that makes jobs. And then Reagan comes back to life. Only he's evil.)
America has added about a trillion bucks to the national debt in the last three weeks. If we announced that our next step was to slash tax revenues the dollar would collapse and we'd turn into Zimbabwe, only with less interesting large predators.
I want to especially say a word of thanks to Senator McCain, we're in the middle of a tough battle right now; American politics at the presidential level is always tough. But I've said before, and I think it bears repeating, that there are very few of us who have served this country with the same honor and dedication and distinction as Senator McCain, and I'm honored to be sharing the stage with him tonight.
Contrary to the rumors you may have heard, I was not born in a manger [laughter]. I was actually born on Krypton, and sent here by my father Jor-El to save the planet Earth.
From MSNBC's First Read, quoting Obama at an event this morning:
For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky and think this is all set, I just say one word. I guess it’s two words for you: New Hampshire. You know, I’ve been in these positions before where we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked. And so that’s another good lesson that Hillary Clinton taught me.
Government ownership of the banks is a hallmark of socialism, of course. Who would have thought that the October surprise was for the Bush administration to come out of the closet and become overt socialists three weeks before a hotly contested election?
The Economist has one of those red/blue maps that we've all grown tired of -- except that this one is for countries, not U.S. States.
Adam Kernan-Schloss, writing in Huff Post:
I understand all of that, but for the life of me, I don't get it when
people say they want someone just like them to be president.
The mayor of Scranton recently said about Obama: "They don't know him. Who'd you want to have a beer with? Who'd you leave your kids with?" Huh? I'm not looking for a beer buddy or a baby sitter. I'm looking for a president who knows a lot more than I do about how to get out of the mess we're in.
It's called leadership.
I have lots of friends I like to hang out and drink beer with. But no offense, I sure don't want them to be president.
Ow. Gloves coming off now:
In its broad strokes, McCain's life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers' powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives' evangelical churches.
In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot.
This is a beautifully written piece. Want to feel good about our next President? Read it. It gives me hope. We can elect this guy, you know. We're better than the last eight years, better than the Gingrich Congress, better than Iran-Contra and NAFTA and Vietnam and Chile and the Missile Gap rhetoric that led to thousands of nukes waiting for terrorists to pick them up.
Pepper-spraying the armored-car guard: Nasty.
Shout-out to my lovely wife, who sent me this gem (audio here) from Clive James. I'm guessing that she came upon it via Scalzi's Whatever.
Oliver Burkeman of the Guardian, describing the rules of his drinking game for the Biden-Palin debate:
One drink whenever you happen to remember the phrase "a heartbeat away from the presidency." And in the interests of balance: a drink, too, whenever Palin makes a well-argued, semantically intact, logical and lucid argument -- or WASILLA for short.
From the transcript:
I do take issue with some of the principle there with that redistribution of wealth principle that seems to be espoused by you.
-- Sarah Palin, 2 Oct. 2008
Let me reiterate:
The 19th annual Jolt Awards are open for nominations. In my totally unbiased opinion as a judge since 2001 and a longtime writer for the Jolts' former home (Software Development magazine, of fond memory; Dr. Dobbs owns the Jolts now), the Jolts are the Emmys or Oscars of development tools.