Thursday, January 31, 2008

A McCain-Huckabee GOP Ticket?

I obviously have no inside information, but the Prez/VP ticket that I fear the most from the GOP is McCain and Huckabee.

With that duo, McCain pulls the moderate part of the GOP, and Huckabee appeals to the Christian conservative base.

Both men seem to be on good terms as candidates.

Whatcha think of a McCain/Huckabee ticket, folks?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Anger in Coles County

There's quite a bit of anger here in Coles County becuase the Dept. of Energy has backed away from the city of Mattoon being the only site for the first proposed coal/carbon sequestration plant in the nation.

The city of Mattoon competed with another IL city, Tuscola, and two towns in Texas and had apparently won the extremely competitive bid for the project. People in the county did a lot of hard work to win the bid.

Needless to say, some folks around here are angry as hell. The city of Mattoon won the bid outright, and now the DOE has restructured their plans all of a sudden. Both Senator Durbin (D) and Representative Tim Johnson (R) are incensed, and there is a feeling (rumors) among people that the Prez didn't get what he wanted, a town in Texas winning the bid proposal. Tim Johnson, our Congressional district's Rep, who is a moderate Republican, isn't especially happy with the Bush administration again.

"DOE Backs Away from FutureGen" Link:

"FutureGen Allies Take Note of Bush's Reference" link:

"FutureGen Gets the Ax" link:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thoughts on the Tuesday Before Super Tuesday

I am surprised by the results tonight in Florida. I thought Romney would make the GOP race interesting. While it's not a done deal yet, I don't see how Romney pulls off a victory. He can look in the mirror all he wants and ask himself for more money for ads, but Huckabee still in the race cuts into part of his base.

I wonder what the reaction will be around the conservative talk show circuit tomorrow. Will Rush flip-flop? Will the wannabe Limbaughs on the am dial see that McCain has the best shot of winning the presidency for the GOP? Will they all act like Bill O'Reilly and backtrack on statements made and rationalize to new positions?

All you dittoheads need to keep me informed.

As for the Democrats, Hillary said tonight on MSNBC that they're pretty much going to reign in Bill during the rest of the campaign.

We'll see how long that happens.

Whatever your political leaning, Billary is in a tough spot. They've pissed off many African-American voters (a reliable voting block) and many big kahunas in the party. If they actually win the thing, they have a lot of fence-mending to do. But I don't even think Bill has enough soul butter and hogwash to repair what's been going on. If the Democrats nominate Clinton, what happens to all the new folks brought into the party ranks? Do they sit home at election night because she's distinctly uninspirational?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Distortions and Deceit

As the linked article from the Washington Post relates, some Democrats are getting tired of the Clintons, particularly Bill aggressive tactics against Obama or blaming the media or blaming Obama using the media as his surrogate.

"Some in Party Bristle at Clintons' Attacks" link:

I tend to agree with the article in that the debate should be about ideas, but if Obama is getting attacked by two candidates (Billary), he needs to strike back. Credibility/Character (ethos) matters.

I think it's fairly obvious what happens when you don't address obvious distortions of your record or facts (see John Kerry's presidential bid or the run-up to the Iraq War for examples). If lies or distortions are presented so often, people start believing them, unfortunately. The perception becomes the reality.

For me, I wanted to see Obama punch back at how the BET owner referenced his drug use a while back. Obama could have simply said something like this: "Yes, that was in the past. I was young and needed guidance in my life. And thankfully I found it. At that time in my life, I unfortunately smoked marijuana (brief pause). I inhaled. "

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

(Not So) Good Day to Be a Music Fan

Both North Mississippi All Stars and the Drive-By-Truckers have new albums out. Those are very good things.

But speaking of other music matters, I'm still trying to adjust to the cruddy music stations around these parts. While I'm told there's a decent station up in Champaign, I'm rarely up that way. And most of the stations around here are either country or crap.

While EIU has its own college radio station, it's an odd duck. They call themselves "Hit Mix" (groan), and they tout that they play "all hits" from all decades. It's not uncommon to be driving in town and hear this type of lineup of tunes in succession: a George Jones song, a Lionel Ritchie hit from the early 80s, some classic rock, and a recent song from a pseudo-alternative band.

I will say that the station keeps a listener guessing, which can be interesting at times, but I pine for my days in T-Town ('98-'02) when I would hear on Alabama's college radio station this type of lineup of tunes in succession: the wonderful country version of Dr. Dre's "Gin and Juice," a live recording of Widespread Panic's "Makes Sense to Me," a Rage Against the Machine sonic diatribe, and "Banana Pudding" by Southern Culture on the Skids.

And I also miss the community radio station in St. Louis, KDHX.

Media consolidation has killed our chances of hearing good radio stations. Bastards.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Now on CNN: When Democrats Attack!

While I was perplexed initially by Obama's off-handed comment about Reagan in Nevada because Reagan is my second least favorite president behind the current office-holder, I thought that maybe he was up to something.

As much as both Edwards and Clinton want to to paint Obama as liking Reagan (which is just comical), they're wrong. You can dislike a person's politics, but you can appreciate how he inspired people. Any person with half a brain can look at what Reagan's policies and politics were and look at what Obama's politics and positions are and see that they're not alike. Essentially he was saying that Reagan created a coalition that created change in the country. I didn't like the change like many progressives, but nonetheless it was change.

I was disappointed that Obama didn't pound that home enough in the debate.

In the debate, Smug Hillary and Edwards repeatedly tried to frame Obama's comment in various perversions. And the whole "present" vote deal doesn't make much sense to a lot of people (which Clinton is banking on), but it's a peculiar (but sometimes productive) method of getting legislation passed here in Illinois.

I fear the Democratic Party will give the GOP exactly what they want: Hillary(Bill) as the nominee.

As Pat Buchanan said on MSNBC a while ago, "If the Republicans can't beat Hillary Clinton, they don't deserve to win."

The comment has some Yogi Berra logic in it, but it rings true.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Deep Thoughts on a Friday Morning

As I was showering this morning, I had a deep thought in the pseudo-style of Jack Handey.

If Hillary wins the nomination for the Democratic Party, I wonder if she'll light up a cigar. If she does, I hope she doesn't get one from her hubby. That man made me see cigars in a way I've never seen them before.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Your Choice, Your Vote Quiz

I thought I'd past this seventeen question quiz for you all. After the quiz is over, it'll give you a readout on how you match with presidential candidates, although it needs to be updated since Biden and Dodd are still on there.



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion

Yours truly, Quintilian B. Nasty, get's a question "published" on a blog about rhetoric.

"When Do We Want It? Never!" link:

Should you care? Yes.

Are rhetorical questions annoying as hell? Yes.

Has this blog jumped the shark? Perhaps.

Is Plastic Making Us Fat?

The linked article provides an evocative perspective on obesity. Certainly, lack of exercise and eating habits play huge roles in how we're super-sizing ourselves, but I found this article interesting because it describes some preliminary studies about how endocrine disrupters affect fat cells.

I'd certainly like to get back down to my "fighting weight" (140 lbs.) through better eating habits and more exercise than I'm currently doing, but I found this article fascinating in that plastic goods may play a role, especially for young children

As the one character in The Graduate said, "Plastics, plastics, plastics."

What do you all think?

"Is Plastic Making Us Fat?" link:

John McCain, You've just been Swift-Boated

The recent attack ad (flier) going around the Palmetto state is connected directly to this horrible website.


As has been reported by various media outlets, the same folks who brought you the "black baby" business in South Carolina in '00 for Dubya are now working for Slick Mitt, the sunshine pumper to Michigan.

That website is absolutely creepy. Wow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Addendum to Same Old Politics

This commentator strikes the nail on the head too.


Although this is a bit conspiracy theorist of me, I believe someone in the Clinton campaign provided/leaked/offered the "Madrassa" story to Insight Magazine back in January 2007.


What do you all think? Would the Clintons have the most to gain from that smear job? Hillary came out publicly and called it a right wing hit job or something like that, but I'm having my doubts. She protested a bit too loudly.

Same Old Politics

The linked article channels part of my perspective on the race, gender, Clinton, and Obama thingy. Nothing like paying African-American "leaders" to be your surrogates, Hillary. Classy. As Porch is known to say, "Take it sleazy."

"Will They Play the Race Card?" link:

On Meet the Press on Sunday, Clinton spent most of her time poor-mouthing Obama's record and murmuring about how her unfair treatment by the media, the same folks who for many months have deemed her a shoo-in for the nomination and who have consistently under-reported or ignored Edwards, a fellow who has say about who wins the nomination either indirectly by sticking in the race or directly through his delegates.

There's been a turn. Obama/Edwards represent/ed the anti-Clinton vote in many ways, but now Hillary (and Bill--don't forget him) are portraying themselves as the anti-Obama vote, with racial tinges.

They're not as bad as Rove's op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal where he talked about how Obama is "lazy" and played too much basketball at Harvard, but Hillary is getting sketchy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Sad Day in Charleston

Charleston's adopted son who recently donated $75K to Athletics and $25K to the Communication Studies department, Tony Romo, and his team did not advance today. Part of the Charleston populace is saddened and depressed.

I'm sure I'll see some EIU Romo 17 jerseys at the next basketball game I go to though; it seems like every snot-nosed kid around is wearing one at sporting event here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Green Economy vs. China's Industrialization

As reported by ENN yesterday, green businesses and sustainability measures are developing rapidly because they make ecological sense and they make or save money.

"Adam Smith, Meet Mother Earth" link:

In contrast, China, as the long article in Mother Jones relates, is an economic powerhouse, but the externalities that the market doesn't account for are reducing or destroying the economic boom that the country is under.

"The Last Empire: China's Pollution Problem Goes Global" link:

Somehow, China and India and other developing countries need to be shown how to do it right. And America and other countries can show them the way.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The GreenMobile Has Arrived!

This linked article from ENN (Link: initially made me smirk when I saw that a researcher at Mississippi State has created an environmentally-friendly trailer. MS State, renowned for undergraduates with cow crap on their boots, and Mississippi, renowned for single-wides and double-wides, creates all kinds of fun images, even though I enjoyed the South when I lived in the great state of Alabama. Any comedian worth his or her salt will jump on this story, I'm sure.

Regardless, the project is an interesting idea to me: affordable, energy-efficient housing.

I think J.J. Grey is probably talking more about Oxford, Ole Miss, and "the Grove" (a magical place that Kenny has experienced) than Starkville (the home of MS State), but nonetheless...

"Mississippi" by J.J. Grey & Mofro

Well I dearly love my home but
She never looked so good to me
Blue skies and dragonflies
Muddy creek Lord set me free

Good things are going on
there in Mississippi
She made me feel good
there in Mississippi

Folks smiling and saying hey
In my car as I'm passing by
And I can smell those barbeque grills
firing on the fourth of July

Good things are going on
there in Mississippi
She made me feel good
there in Mississippi

Good things are going on
there in Mississippi
She made me feel good
there in Mississippi

Everybody moving everybody grooving
everybody letting it all get loose
there in Mississippi

So It's On to South Carolina

where the slime runs deep in Southern politics.

Check out this article by about the "sliming of Obama" that's already started, or I guess has been restarted. Link:

As Mark Twain said, "South Carolina: Too small to be its own republic, too large to be an insane asylum."

Endorsement by Kerry

When I first read about the rumor that John Kerry is going to endorse Obama, my stomach got queasy and I rolled my eyes.

The Fix's recent post (Mash "The Fix" under "Recommended Links" on this blog) has made me feel better. This endorsement might actually help.

It's all about the emails and ground game, baby.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


That's a shocker. Clinton won New Hampshire. Obviously, I don't know squat. Hillary has worked some gender-influenced political jujitsu on the women voters of New Hampshire.

I have to stop predicting what I want to happen, I guess.

The question I have is how long does Edwards stick around? If he's around for Feb. 5, that's bad news for Obama. He can still win it, but it's much tougher sledding with Edwards around.

Those contrarian New Hamsphire folks proved many people wrong.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pronouns and Predictions

A fairly recent article in the NY Times (Link: did an analysis of the typical pronouns that the three Democratic candidates use, and the author broke it down this way. Obama likes to use "we," "us," and "our." Clinton uses "I" a lot. And Edwards uses "they" or "them" often because of the way he brands himself as a fighter against special interests and big money in the political process--the two Americas theme.

Being the good rhetorician that he is, Obama uses the first person plural to make people believe they're part of a movement or something larger. Edwards uses the familiar Teddy Rooseveltesque "us against them" trope. And Clinton's dropping of "I" in her speeches isn't helping her chances. The use of the first person singular in political rhetoric can create a feeling of personal entitlement, which only compounds her campaign's problems.

Rhetorically-speaking, an audience is more likely to be persuaded by the first person plural or the third person. Both can create community and commonality. "I," in this context, creates distance.

My picks tomorrow in the two contests:
McCain 35%
Romney 30%
Huckabee 11%

Obama 42%
Clinton 26%
Edwards 22%

Sunday, January 6, 2008

McCain's Unused Attack Ad Against Romney

Check it out on Slate:

I wonder what he's waiting on?

Quick Questions about Roger Clemens

Do you think he used HGH or steroids?

If so or if not, why do you believe he did or didn't?

Or does it even matter anymore?

75% ain't bad

Hannah picking three out of four ain't bad at all.

The wisdom/luck of children.

By the way, Ed, if you're reading this, I asked her your question about your beloved Packers. She says they won't win the Super Bowl. No indication on whether they actually make it though.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Debates

Wow, it seems all of those GOP candidates got together and decided, "Hey, let's beat the heck out of Romney."

That guy was toast.

For the GOP, South Carolina will be more interesting because that will be where some folks drop out finally. And South Carolina is notorious for nasty politics, downright reprehensible.

Why isn't the media talking about Ron Paul more? A avowed libertarian with a double-digit in Iowa is an interesting story to me, at least.

The interesting but not surprising part of the Democratic debate was Edwards pretty much taking the flack for Obama, thereby labeling her as "status quo," a phrase she's having a hard time shrugging off. Her end of Iowa Caucus speech with Bill in the background didn't help her perception as a "change agent."

I liked ABC's sit-down format.

In a totally unrelated note, Hannah is currently two for two on her picks today.

Typical of the Clinton Machine

Hillary compared Obama to Dubya today with these statements: "He said he'd be a uniter, not a divider. He said he'd bring America together," she said of Bush. "He didn't need a lot of experience, he had this great intuition, he understood people, he could go meet with rogue leaders, look in their eyes and their souls, solve our problems. Remember that?"

While I still support Obama but I am giving Edwards a serious look because of Obama's glaring weaknesses in his energy plan (backing nuclear energy, for one), Clinton's portrayal of Obama is so typical.

Hillary has to go negative.

Off to watch them knock heads!

Friday, January 4, 2008

"The Kid" did it...

As my father related this morning, "the kid" (Obama) did it. At their caucus venue (my mom and dad's), my high school alma mater, they had to switch to the little theatre because turnout was so strong--so many caucus-goers.

And now the candidates descend upon New Hampshire, with the debate on Saturday as crucial.

I expect the Clinton team, who has to be reeling since Edwards eked out a second place victory over her (the establishment candidate), to turn this "change" mantra (a word I'm getting tired of hearing, actually) on Obama on Edwards by questioning how exactly they're going to create change and what their qualifications for change are.

Obviously, Clinton's "experience" card didn't work in Iowa, so I expect her to ask both of her rivals to detail how change can happen with either guy as president. One nice snappy answer would be that they won't turn the Lincoln bedroom into a political ATM machine.

Regardless, my parents now feel safe to answer their phone.

Congrats to Iowans on their huge turnout for both parties!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hannah the Prognosticator

Congratulations to my four year old daughter on picking the top finisher in the Iowa Caucus tonight. As I drove her and Quinn home on Wednesday, I gave the three names of the Democratic candidates. I then asked her who she thought would win first, then second, and then third.

She proceeded to pick Obama, Clinton, and then Edwards as one, two, and three. She didn't get the latter two correct, but she picked the winner.

I wonder if Diana minds if I take her to the track? Bet to win--not to place or show.

For those into politics and looking for interesting t-shirts...

You gotta check out this website. has t-shirts and sweatshirts with old campaign slogans/emblems on them.

Personally, I'm thinking about buying TR's 1912 campaign when he ran under the Progressive "Bull Moose" party. Or maybe FDR.


For You College Basketball Fans

The family is set to attend its first EIU men's basketball game this evening, as the Panthers take on the Racers from Murray State.

Some bizarre factoids about the current state of EIU basketball is that the Panthers are dead last in RPI. That's right, EIU's squad is 341st out of 341 teams ranked by the RPI. In addition, it's not like other teams in the Ohio Valley Conference are that great either. Currently the OVC is ranked 29th out of 31 conferences in Sagarin rankings, and the next to last team in RPI is Jacksonville State (an OVC member). As EIU Coach Matt Miller related in this morning's Charleston Times-Courier, "I don't know if there's ever a team in your league you say that's good to be playing. But I don't know if there is five-point difference in any team we play in our league."

I guess you have to hit rock bottom to improve, but this is ridiculous.

You're not in Tuscaloosa anymore, Mr. Nasty.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Speaking of St. Louis...

Here are two song lyrics by Jay Farrar to ponder:

I will wait for you in the green, green spaces,
Wearing our post-industrial faces.
Side by side sit the trashpile twin
And the eleventh century ceremonial center
Of the Misissippian.
With the calender of the sun,
A people undone.

Ceremonial mounds in the backyards and towns,
That's the way it turned out.
A city built up on the other great mound torn down,
That's the way it happened.
A culture on the run,
They vanished in the sun,
The Mississippian.

Forward and on we go,
Building our mounds out of control,
Full of our finest throwaway things.
The new Mississippians,
Under a smog-choked sun,
Waiting to be undone.

"Feel Free"
Take the bridge over nothing
To where it's cooling down
In the sainted ville where everybody's working.
Look away from the dyed-in-the-wool,
Turn up the non-profit radio, and let it all sink in.
Getting by on the status quo,
Worse before but there's still a hard road to go.

Breathe in all the diesel fumes,
Admire the concrete landscaping,
And doesn't it feel free?

The world is gonna burn up four million years from now
If it doesn't happen anytime soon.
Cruel and unusual all around.
Window of opportunity to uplift the spin that's down.
Cropping up and digging in,
The final plateau no longer seems like a burden

Breathe in all the diesel fumes,
Admire the concrete landscaping,
And doesn't it feel free?