Latest Posts

Ethan Ris
  • John McCain Forgot to Spend Money on That Internet Thingy

    John McCain had a lot of things going against him in his failed presidential bid, but trumping them all was the fact that he was an old, old man.

    And if there's one thing that old men don't understand, it's the Internet.  Just ask soon-to-be-ex-Senator Ted Stevens.  He's counting on that "series of tubes" to lead to a tunnel out of the federal prison he's headed to!

    Anyway, McCain's complete lack of understanding about the Internet led him to vastly deprioritize spending his campaign funds there.  In the end, it turns out that he spent less than 1/5 of what the Obama campaign did online…

    As John McCain's interactive campaign is called disorganized and disconnected by some Monday morning quarterbacks, one thing's for sure. The Republican hopeful's Web team spent far less on online advertising than the Obama camp.

    The McCain campaign spent just over $1.5 million on Web media, according to data representing campaign 2008 expenditures into September. Obama's campaign spent around $8 million in '08 as of October.

    Well, I guess that might have some correlation with the fact that McCain won a miserable 32% of the youth vote in the election.

    But really, this second-guessing is unfair.  In actuality, McCain spent his campaign funds on plenty of cutting-edge media besides the Internet, such as: AM radio, sandwich boards, and those planes that trail banners behind them.


    Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Stevens
  • Smackdown: Gingrich vs. Palin in 2012!

    The Great Republican Smackdown of 2012 is already gearing up!  Non-Republicans might be very amused to hear this, but the big fight shaping up is between two truly unlikely individuals: Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.

    Each is stridently conservative, each is widely regarded as a loser, and each is being talked up for president in 2012.  (You can read about Palin's delusional advocates here and Gingrich's delusional advocates here.)

    Now, in the first shot across the bow, Gingrich is smacking down Palin's viability

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is batting down the hype that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin heads into 2012 as the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination.

    Palin energized the Republican base after GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) tapped her as his running mate and she has tried to preserve her high public profile since Election Day.

    But Gingrich, an architect of the Republican revolution of 1994, took Palin down a notch, asserting that she would not become the party’s leader, as some have predicted.

    “I think that she is going to be a significant player,” said Gingrich during an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation”. “But she’s going to be one of 20 or 30 significant players. She’s not going to be the de facto leader.”

    Meanwhile, we can only presume that Gingrich is thinking of himself as that de facto leader.  At least if he reads Bob Novak's column.

    Stay tuned for more updates on who will claim the prize of serving as 2012's Barry Goldwater.


    Tags: Barry Goldwater, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin
  • Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Have Top-Secret Soiree


    Accorded to unnamed sources, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama met at an unknown time at an undisclosed location in Chicago to discuss unfathomably unknowable things.

    Well OK, everyone assumes that it was about Obama's possible tap of Clinton as Secretary of State, but since the subject is very delicate, everyone's being really cagey.

    President-elect Barack Obama met with his former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton to see if she would be interested in a role in his administration, two sources told CNN Friday.

    Clinton went to the meeting because "she knew Obama wanted to talk about whether she would have a role in the administration," one of the sources knowledgeable about the meeting said.

    The two sources said Clinton was surprised to hear the rumors about the secretary of state position. The sources could not confirm that the two discussed the nation's top diplomatic position or that it was offered.

    I don't know about all this speculation.  Clearly, there are other things they could have talked about!  Such as…

    * The exciting results of last night's Patriots-Jets game.

    * Clinton's top-secret recipe for Democratic White House Pie.

    * 3:00 AM phone calls, and how to best answer them.

    * How they've both had a really emotional year, and it's all so overwhelming, and can we please just hold each other and have a good cry?


    Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton
  • Cheneys Host Bidens For Presumably Awful Visit


    Imagine this classic neighborhood scene.  A guy is moving out of his house, and wants to extend some friendship to the new owner, so he calls him up and says "Why don't you and the wife come on over to chat before the big move?"

    OK, now imagine that the two men in question are Dick Cheney and Joe Biden.  Can you blame me for being a little skeptical that the visit was officially deemed peachy-keen?

    Days after President George W. Bush welcomed President-elect Barack Obama to the White House, the nation's top surrogate, Dick Cheney, tonight greeted his successor, Joe Biden, in a private meeting at the vice president's residence, Washington's Naval Observatory.

    "It was a good visit," read a statement released by Cheney's office. "The Cheneys enjoyed giving the Bidens a tour of the residence and wished them well as they make it their home in January."

    "The Bidens thank the Cheneys for welcoming them into their home and for their gracious hospitality," said Biden spokesperson Elizabeth Alexander.

    Give me a break.  Man, even those official statements are teeming with passive-aggression!

    No press were allowed at the visit, which is never a good sign.  The whole event lasted just 50 minutes – not even enough time for Lynne Cheney to recite from her bodice-ripping lesbian novel.  Presumably, the Bidens didn't want to stay too long, because they had heard from a reliable source that Cheney was "the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history."

    But hey, maybe it was a great visit after all, and everybody's friends now.  We'll see whether Biden will take up Cheney's generous offer to join him on his next hunting trip.


    Tags: Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Washington DC
  • The Illinois Senate Seat: Let's Get Ready to Pander!

    Barack Obama has announced that he's resigning from the Senate as of Sunday, and the pressure is on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to appoint his successor.

    Blagojevich has a tricky path to walk.  On the one hand, he has basically unchecked power to name a United States Senator — he could name a political ally, a personal friend, or even one of his own children! (Although something like that would never occur, right?)

    On the other hand, Blagojevich is almost universally hated by the people of Illinois.  As in, his approval rating is 13%.  By comparison, George W. Bush looks like the king of the Prom.

    In the hopes of getting at least some voters to like him, Blagojevich needs to pander, and he needs to pander hard.  Here are some of his top options for Obama replacements, and their pros and cons:

    * Jesse Jackson, Jr., U.S. Congressman.  Panders to: African-Americans.  Unlikely to get tapped due to affiliation with the controversial reverend of a black church.

    * Tammy Duckworth, Illinois Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Panders to: Asian-Americans.  She's a wounded Iraq War vet and a loyal Democrat.  Odds are good.

    * Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Congresswoman.  Panders to: Jews.  Too bad Illinois doesn't have any Jews.

    * Oprah Winfrey, talk show host. Panders to: obese housewives.  She's a billionaire — you can't count her out.

    * John Wayne Gacy, serial killer.  Panders to: serial killers.  An unconventional choice to be sure, but he has already been thoroughly vetted by the Illinois media.

    Happy appointing, Governor!


    Tags: Barack Obama, Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, Senate