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Honestly McCain!

August 18, 2008
Did you know that dishonesty is a top trait of pre-historic creatures?

Did you know that dishonesty is a top trait of pre-historic creatures? (image from

Please forgive the brief diversion from sports — my take on the US destruction of Spain (and nuclear holocaust of the German squad) will follow shortly — but this article (from the New York Times) needs to be discussed.

I flipped back and forth between the Olympics and the Presidential Forum with Rev. Rick Warren on Saturday night, mostly to catch what Obama had to say. But after Obama had his time with the Reverend, the Olympic events weren’t really holding my attention, so I decided to catch a fresh soundbyte or two from McCain. I ended up watching most of his hour-long portion.

I found myself surprisingly impressed with McCain’s overall performance at the event. Granted, it was a no teleprompter affair, so McCain didn’t have to face down his biggest nemesis, but he was relaxed, straight forward, a little funny, and overall, came across as a more intelligent and less anger invoking version of the Republican candidate that I remembered. In fact, I even called my father the next day to express that exact sentiment.

Well, this is most likely why McCain performed so well:

Senator John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” on Saturday night while his rival, Senator Barack Obama, was being interviewed at the Saddleback Church in California.

Members of the McCain campaign staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed by the Rev. Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”

The matter is of interest because Mr. McCain, who followed Mr. Obama’s hourlong appearance in the forum, was asked virtually the same questions as Mr. Obama. Mr. McCain’s performance was well received, raising speculation among some viewers, especially supporters of Mr. Obama, that he was not as isolated during the Obama interview as Mr. Warren implied. (read rest of article here)

Allow me to be brash: this is bullshit.

This being the morning after the report leaked (I believe it went up on the site late yesterday), I haven’t read or heard a massive backlash in response to this story. But I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way. I feel slighted, lied to, absolutely taken advantage of.

The whole point of a forum is for the candidate to react, think on his feet, and answer some hard hitting questions (at least a few — there were a number of soft balls lobbed by Rev. Warren). Getting the questions in advance, gauging crowed reaction to an answer, and knowing how best to differentiate yourself from your rival is a marked advantage.

McCain’s manner of speech was too easy, his responses too calculated. There was much less of the bumbling and stammering than prior engagements. Did he listen to the entire Obama portion of the Forum? I bet he listened right up to the point of exiting his motorcade. After nearly eight years of a Presidency where I feel like I have zero knowledge of what decisions Bush and his cronies are making, dishonesty is tops on my list of qualities a candidate should not have.

Give me straight talk, give me honest thoughtfulness, and give me a willingness to make a mistake or two (a President is a human too) — as long as you own up to them when you do.

Don’t give me scandal and diversion. Don’t give me that bullshit.

I suppose what I’m saying is give me Obama. To hell with McCain.

UPDATE: More possible McCain lying shamockery, this time from the Huffington Post, where blogger Mark Nickolas notes the blogosphere buzz surrounding the discovery that McCain’s “cross in the dirt” POW story may not be his story at all.


Sports + Intelligence ≠ Oxymoron (always)

July 30, 2008

In my opinion, there is increasingly less well written, intelligent, and thoughtful sports writing than in most other genres of writing. Maybe I missed the memo on this one; maybe sports are supposed to be aimed at the “common man,” and maybe this “common man” likes only four things: short sentences, simple vocabulary, beer, and chicken wings. Maybe a sports writer was the one who created this cliche in an article at some point, in which case maybe the majority of sports writers today are catering to a self-created stereotype.

Or maybe not. Whatever.

Regardless of the reason, the most common form of “intelligence” found in sports writing comes across in humor, attempted or achieved (*this blogger guiltily raises hand*).