Near Earth Archive

A backup of Near Earth Object by Paul Fidalgo

Month: August, 2008

That’s Why They Make Briefing Books

No really, it’s fine. She’s ready to lead from day one.


Sarah Palin: McCain’s Natural Selection

Quick note: Remember when three of the GOP candidates for president raised their hand when asked in a debate who among them did not acknowledge the validity of evolution?

Well, none of them won the nomination, so that’s why our Bronze Age friends must be very relieved by McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Seems she wants supernatural creationism taught in public schools. Cause, you know, that evolution thing isn’t pretty enough of an explanation.

To be specific, from the Anchorage Daily News:

Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, “I believe we have a creator.”

She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.

No report yet on where she stands on the ferocious debate concerning space alien construction of the Egyptian pyramids.

John McCain Doesn’t Need Your Bullshit

Why should such an obviously honorable, heroic, and let’s be honest, pure human being have to waste his time answering “questions” from “reporters” from Time “Magazine”?

I mean, look. He’s already told you he should be president. And that should be enough for you info-nazis.

When those presumptuous dudes from Time bothered him on his plane, he really showed them. Here are some of my favorite one-line answers that he gave:

  • “Read it in my books.”
  • “No, I’m not going to define it.”
  • “I defined it in five books. Read my books.”
  • “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
  • “The campaign responded as planned.”

And I have a tie for my absolute favorite between…

  • [Shakes his head.]


  • [Does not answer.]

Take that, Crap Magazine! Your readers will know stuff about John McCain when he deems it necessary! In the meantime, he has a country to…put…first…!

(Photo butchered by me)

Rightous Indignation, or,’Oh My Fucking God!’

I read the rumblings, and now it’s confirmed:

Three men, one of whom allegedly has strong ties to a white supremacist gang, have admitted to a “crude” plan to use a rifle to kill Sen. Barack Obama, federal law enforcement sources told ABC News.

That’s it. I now implore my six readers to donate to the Obama campaign, and specify that your money go directly to security to protect the Democratic presidential nominee. This country’s heart will break and its spirit will sicken irrevocably if such a plot were to succeed, and it would take generations to recover from the grief, guilt, and hopelessness that would ensue. It’s frightening to think what such a thing would say about us as a culture.

I know, I’m overreacting, but this really sends me off the handle.

The Fierce Bipolarization of Now

My wife is scared. She doesn’t follow politics nearly as closely as I do (which is too much – I start cheering when Chuck Todd comes on TV), but she’s smart and informed, and, more importantly, cares.

So the polls are even, the McCain impugn-o-matic machine is set to ludicrous speed, and about half the folks who voted for Hillary are either jumping the Democratic ship, or at least browsing the lifeboats.

What do I think? I think the race is far tighter than it should be. I would think it was laughable – were the stakes not so high – that a Democrat as talented as Obama (and with the finest taste in running mates since WJC) might really, honestly lose to the animated corpse of what was once John McCain, during a year in which it has been made clear to just about everybody with a functioning neocortex that the Republicans don’t have any idea what the fuck is going on.

This evening, I find that two writers far more intelligent than I have knocked my expectations back and forth as though in a game of very slow tennis.

First, Jacob Weisberg fuels my fears in Newsweek:

If it makes you feel better, you can rationalize Obama’s missing 10-point lead on the basis of Clintonite sulkiness, his slowness in responding to attacks or the concern that he may be too handsome, brilliant and cool to be elected. But let’s be honest: the reason Obama isn’t ahead right now is that he trails badly among one group, older white voters. He lags with them for a simple reason: the color of his skin.


You may or may not agree with Obama’s policy prescriptions, but they are, by and large, serious attempts to deal with the biggest issues we face: a failing health-care system, oil dependency, income stagnation and climate change. To the rest of the world, a rejection of the promise he represents wouldn’t just be an odd choice by the United States. It would be taken for what it would be: sign and symptom of a nation’s historical decline.

America’s decline? Oh no!

But he’s right. In 2000, the stakes seemed low. A lot of people really didn’t seem to think it mattered who was president. Hell, I have a man-crush on Al Gore, and I barely thought it mattered. And let there be no doubt, Americans blew it with Bush’s reelection, but true disaster of the epic proportions we would soon see was only looming. Now there’s no excuse. Things are bad, and they’re bad everywhere. Obama might not be the magic cure, but McCain will rip out the sutures and reinfect the wound.

And that’s where Frank Rich knocked my expectations to the other side of the net, and gave me a little morale boost. He thinks the case against McCain is way obvious, and that Obama’s task is easier than it was in the primaries. He says polls show, despite some recent losses, that Obama has already won the battle over which candidate is “on our side,” and it is now up to Obama to “rekindle the ‘fierce urgency of now'” by telling “a story that is more about America and the future and less about Obama and his past.” Of McCain, he writes,

Is a man who is just discovering the Internet qualified to lead a restoration of America’s economic and educational infrastructures? Is the leader of a virtually all-white political party America’s best salesman and moral avatar in the age of globalization?

No! That’s great, but I still don’t know what to think. Politics has become not so much a battle between the top and the bottom of the barrel, but over who scrapes up the vilest dregs. Let he who turns his opponent into a risible feeb be our leader! I don’t know if we can win that battle, so until the Obama folks can turn the game from Rock ’em-Sock ’em Robots to Stratego, I am going to hold my breath and, I suppose, hope.

Saving Throw vs. Douchebag, Chapter 2

Gather ye round and note! Or, hark! Michael Goldfard, 1st Level Douchebag of the McCain campaign has won yet another initiative roll, and has attacked with his Blog of Idiocy!

Hark, um, again! Upset by some nameless bloggers’ accusations about his boss’s time in Vietnam, Goldfarb ejaculates:

It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman’s memory of war from the comfort of mom’s basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.

He must have rolled an 18 for wisdom, because it is entirely true that when adventuring throughout the Forgotten Realms, many a warrior will descend into a dungeon (or “basement”), and after a long day of combat with orcs and kobolds, will sit around a fire and disparage our fellow countrymen’s memories of war.

Our mothers are not usually there, for they are old and frail, except for the elves, whose moms are still hot, because elves live for, like, ever.

That Goldfarb. He’s a whacko with no THAC0.

Obama Campaign Vetting Whole Bunch of Veep Prospects

NEAR EARTH NEWS – EDISON, NJ – Speculation as to whom Barack Obama would choose as his running mate began to reach a boiling point Monday as several Near Earth Object reporters independently confirmed dozens of new names under consideration by the Illinois senator.

It has become common knowlegde that such Democrats as Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Joe Biden (D-DE), Evan Bayh (D-IN), and Chris Dodd (D-CT), Govs. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Republicans such as Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Dick Lugar (R-IN) have been either considered, floated, or fully vetted. What has been unclear until now is that the Obama campaign has not only considered, floated, and vetted these names, but performed several other verbs upon many other names as well. Some examples:

* Aides to independent New York mayor Michael Bloomberg have confirmed that the mayor’s name has been “tickled” by the Obama campaign, though not fully “petted.”

* Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM), bellied up to a bar and wearing sunglasses and a fedora, whispered to Near Earth Object that the campaign was “poking” his name, repeatedly, and that Gov. Richardson “wished they would stop” because “it hurts.”

* Newly resigned Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf announced to his staff, following his exit from office, that the Obama campaign had “nustled up” to his name and “spooned” it.

* Regarded as an effort to cross party and racial lines – and by racial, we mean racist – new buzz has been generated over the Obama campaign’s “waving about” of the possibility of running with the corpse of the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC).

* This reporter can confirm with full confidence that the Obama campaign is seriously vetting My Grandma (D-NJ), who supporters say would rally the all-important North Jersey German immigrant vote.

McCain Induces Temper Tantrum in Mild Mannered Blogger

I don’t know what to do with all my anger.

Listen, I happen to know for a fact that on January 8th, 2008, there were die-hard Democrats who broke into respectful applause when John McCain came from behind to win the Republican New Hampshire primary. He was the honorable Republican, remember? Way to stick it to Romney, many Democrats felt that day. As I said, I know this to be true.

Fast forward 8 months, and John McCain has proven to be the most disappointing asshat to run for president since…

Okay, fine, this guy is still the biggest asshat.

But still.

Here is what my rage is made of:

1) Let me put it this way. LexisNexis shows 40 hits for “McCain” and “lose a war” and “scurrilous” from the past month. Just to be clear:

scurrilous |ˈskərələs|


making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation : a scurrilous attack on his integrity.

(I just discovered, much to my delight that Lexis also shows 4 hits for “McCain” and “asshat.”)

2) A straw I thought had broken my poor camel’s back: when McCain – for no reason other than to be an asshat – decided he would oppose any net neutrality legislation (old news, I know, but it was in the news as a new “plan”). McCain decided there’s a national emergency in which the giant telecoms were not making enough money and didn’t have enough control over everything, ever. This, I thought, was the height of toolery. But then I read this moments ago.

3)  From the Politico:

McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis asked Sunday for a meeting with Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, to protest what the campaign called signs that the network is “abandoning non-partisan coverage of the Presidential race.”

The piece goes on to describe the campaign’s displeasure with Andrea Mitchell for “repeating Obama campaign taking points” on Meet the Press concerning McCain purportedly being aware of the questions Obama was getting at the forum with Rick Warren.

What? What?!? Wait. Just wait. Breathe. Jesus Christ.

I could see them having a problem with this fictional scenario:

Mitchell: Dude, David, Chuck, guy from the Atlantic. McCain totally cheated…in church.

Now that would have been awesome if it had gone that way, but in Davis’ own letter, they show the Mitchell quote as it actually happened (emphasis mine):

Mitchell: The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because what they are putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama. He seemed so well-prepared.

Catch that? That’s right, she reported what the Obama camp is alleging. Now, if the Obama people who are saying so are doing so maliciously, then they, too, are engaged in asshattery. But this “media is biased against McCain” nonsense hurts me in my neocortex. No matter how much of a buffoon he makes of himself, the story continuously remains focused on how Obama doesn’t remind us enough of white West Virginia farmers. Please allow me to devolve entirely into a 10 year old.

It’s just…it’s just…not fair!!! Why do they get to be bad guys all the time and it’s, you know, okay!?!? I mean, he totally impugns Obama’s patriotism! And he totally went negative first! I saw it! This is such bullshit! I didn’t ask to be born, you know!

MobileMe: A Crisis of Faith

Steve, You know I am a devoted follower. You know that when You release a new product, whether or not I can afford said product or would even find it useful, I crave it and construct elaborate, unholy fantasies of possessing it.

Steve, I stood in line for seven hours to get the iPhone 3G.

Which is why I don’t understand what’s going on with MobileMe. Are You testing me? Are You trying to see if I am a true believer, if I will follow The Steve no matter how terrible the cost to my marriage, my sanity, or my checking account?

Forgive me, Steve, but even when MobileMe is working, it is clunky and slow. (Steve forgive me!) On my Windows machine at my temp job (sweet Industrial Designer have mercy on me!), it causes the browser to stutter, and offers sporadic functionality. Why?

I have offended You, I sense that. I pray that you spare me, my loved ones, and my Apple products (of which there are many, Steve!) Hopefully, with guidance from your divine RSS feed, I will come out of this crisis of faith stronger, and more devoted to You than ever before.

I want to believe.