Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Veep Debate Preview

Sarah Palin will exceed expectations. That won't be hard given that most people tuning in will be expecting a train wreck. As long as Palin can stand erect, not drool excessively, and speak in a language that sounds somewhat similar to English, she will be seen as exceeding expectations.

Joe Biden will be best served by ignoring Palin. Treat it as a press conference with a spectator standing closer than normal. Look at her when she is talking only occasionally when not taking notes, but don't react. When it is time to attack, attack McCain. Be mean, even cruel, towards McCain.

Palin will likely attack Obama. Biden should dismiss those attacks as "rote talking points" and defend Obama with uplifting prose.

There is a chance that Palin will go off on one of her rambling, semi-coherant policy babblefests. A trick to use once, and only once, is for Biden to begin his response by translating her babble into a simple declarative sentence ("I think what Governor Palin means to say is that Israel is and will always be an American ally.") and then respond. There is a risk of coming off condesending which is why I am not recommending this tactic. But, if done well, it can say that Palin is an idiot while still being gracious.

John McCain = Drama Queen

Just because it's true.

Monday, September 29, 2008


That is the year when the stock markets (S&P, NASDAQ) first reached the levels they have fallen to today. Ten years of up and down going absolutely nowhere.

Bailout Bombs - What Now?

The Wall Street Bailout failed and the stock market has crashed. The original text by Paulson was horrible. The rewrite was better but still distasteful. Passing it didn't seem right but doing nothing is a catastrophe. There are four possible outcomes.
  1. The House will take a day to consider the ramifications of their inaction, reconsider the existing bill, and approve it. I expect this is what will happen.
  2. Pass a quick and clean stop gap and revisit the whole thing in January (Firedoglake). I don't see that being any easier than passing what was defeated today.
  3. House Democrats write their own bill, pass it on a party line vote, and let the Senate worry about any bipartisanship. As a practical matter it is too close to the election to do that.
  4. Do nothing; Congress goes home. This is the worst outcome. The Fed would have to inflate the hell out of the currency to keep the economy from completely imploding. Congressmen who thought they were doing the public's will by voting "no" will find the public outraged. The public didn't like the Bailout. They won't like not having the Bailout even more. Every down tick of the market will be laid at the Congressmen's feet. It will roil the election in unpredictable ways.
The initial backlash will probably impact Republicans. The House Republican excuse for voting "no" (Nancy Pelosi was mean and hurt their feelings) makes them sound like whiny ass titty babies (Crooks and Liars). John McCain, with the political acumen of a kumquat, took credit for the Bailout bill's victory just before it was defeated. That makes McCain look weak. But, that is today's snapshot.

There is no telling how people will feel in a month. Any congressman or pundit who says he can predict the future on this is a fool. Democrats have to take charge on this issue. If they fail to act they risk being punished as badly as Republicans. For Democrats to do nothing risks allowing Republicans to steal the mantle of leader.

As I learned in typing class so many years ago: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

McCain: Compulsive Gambler

Another Maverick reference. John McCain is a gambler. Not in a calculated risk-taking good way. He is a gambler in a destructive, in need of a twelve-step program way. McCain is the kind of gambler who will go all-in with a pair of deuces showing and a seven of spades hole-card.

Like that other former fighter pilot-turned-politician, Duke Cunningham, McCain takes risks just because they are there. The riskier the better and to hell with the odds of success.

Take, for example, his suspending his campaign last week. He had no plan for what to do afterwards. He didn't think ahead, he just rolled the dice. Because he had no plan he ended up looking, and being, meaningless. By crawling back to the debate like he did he embarrassed all of his right-wing supporters who had called the suspension brilliant. McCain was like the husband who, having lost the mortgage money at the race track, asked his wife for her wedding ring so he can hock it.

Sarah Palin was another rash gamble. He made her too important to the campaign, even overshadowing himself. He overplayed the Palin hand like a Texas Hold'em player who overplays a bottom-end straight draw hoping to chase his opponents from the pot. Against a seasoned professional it is a hopeless strategy.

McCain is a reckless gambler. He doesn't study the Racing Form with a betting strategy. He just throws his money at longshot after longshot. It's an adrenaline rush, an old guy version of flathatting. McCain's style of gambling is exciting. You never know when McCain will up and do something insane. However, an insatiable desire for excitement and reckless behavior are not the best traits for a President.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

McCain Campaign Is Like an Ionesco Play

As McCain lurches from one farce to another his campaign has taken on the surreal look of absurdist French theater. The latest travesty hitting the rumor circuit (via the London Times) is that the campaign is planning a surprise October wedding of Bristol Palin to swing the election.

Nothing would shift those swing voters better than turning the marriage of a pregnant teenager into a media circus. A shotgun wedding between a self-described "fucking redneck" and his underage bride would be the feel good event of the year. People by the millions would forget their economic woes and the endless Republican wars and race to vote Republican.
What the wedding photo will look like. (from a production of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blinky McBlink

You can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink. ~ Sarah Palin
Yet McCain blinks a lot. Firedoglake has an interesting video showing John McCain's insensate blinking, averaging better than two blinks per second. Looks like McCain isn't wired right and isn't committed to the mission.

A Little Sarah Time

Since I don't care about the actual content of debates I thought I'd spend a little time on Dear Sarah.
  • The Anchorage Daily News has a comprehensive review of Sarah Palin's week from Hell.
  • Ezra Klein at American Prospect has the most cogent analysis. Her brain is so overfilled with talking points that she is spouting them in a random series of sentences. A commenter to this article notes, "We see exactly *why* it took Sarah Palin seven years and five colleges to come away with a bachelor's degree in journalism, for God's sake."
  • While Joe Biden was all over the news networks spinning the debate Friday night, Sarah was hiding out at an Irish pub in Philly getting foreign policy experience and singing karaoke. (picture source)
  • A company is selling life-size wall stickers of Sarah, complete with stick-on hunting rifle, lipstick, and tiara.
  • She is making such a habit of ending her sentences with prepositions that I am changing my mind. I used defend them against overzealous schoolmarms as a way, occasionally, to avoid painfully awkward sentence construction. Sarah, somehow, manages to enhance the awkwardness of her sentences while still dangling her prepositions for all to hear. ("That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in.")
I put the odds at even money that, come Thursday when the Vice-Presidential debate is scheduled, Sarah will have to cancel. She will catch some illness (cold, flu, beriberi, Dengue Fever), her baby will come down with cholic, she'll trip and crack a tooth. Something will happen and she'll have to cancel.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Surrender Monkey

As predicted, John McCain surrendered. McCain is skiddering off to Mississippi to the debate he said he wanted postponed. In a face-to-face confrontation with Barack Obama, McCain blinked - big time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain's Debate Tale

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. ~ Shakespeare
McCain will show up for the debate on Friday. To do otherwise would be political suicide. He will try to make his appearance dramatic, as if he is making some great sacrifice being there. If he blunders he will have the automatic excuse that he has been distracted doing the Nation's Business.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chicken Shit McCain

So, all of this is about really about keeping Sarah Palin in hiding by canceling the Veep debate.

Chicken McCain

It is frequently true in life that a man who commits acts of bravery in his youth becomes a coward in his old age. John McCain is such a man.

With age, the courage of youth is often replaces with fear. Boldness has morphed into imprudence. An agile mind becomes hesitant and unsure. Such it is with John McCain.

In many ways it is sad to see the decline of this man. Sadder still would be if the country places its fate in the hands of this shell of a man.

McCain Wants to Back Out of the Friday Debate

Sen. Obama should regretfully accept the cancellation of the September 26 debate. The remaining two debates (October 7 & 15) and the Vice-Presidential debate (October 2) should be devoted entirely to discussing the economic crisis.

Sen. Obama should also remind McCain that now, in a moment of crisis, is not the time for politicians to hide from the American people. McCain may do as he wishes but Sen. Obama will continue to meet with the American people.

A Price Must Be Paid - Final Thoughts

  • I've reached the conclusion that the Paulson Bailout, and its variations, are unacceptable. The stated goal, to create a fluid environment for borrowing, can be accomplished by other means.
  • Recapitalizing banks by buying debt at inflated prices is an inefficient way to accomplish the stated goal. It is rewarding bad judgment with the biggest prizes going to the most stupid.
  • It is obvious the Paulson Bailout was written during a Friday all-nighter with pizza and beer. The evidence of alcohol can be seen in the text. (Hey, you know what would be cool? Why don't we make me God. We can call it Section 8 and see if anyone gets the joke.)
  • I am truly impressed that Senator Chris Dodd was able to turn Paulson's vague mess into competent legislation so quickly. It was a legislative tour de'force.
  • Still, Paulson's Bailout is a pile of crap and any rewrite is just spritzing perfume on shit. (No, that is not a Sarah Palin reference.)
  • While I have gotten used to the Bush Administration panic mode, Paulson's declaration that only he can save the Universe is silly. (Après nous, le déluge.)
  • If Paulson had just taken a couple of slow, deep breaths (instead of pissing his pants) and called in a few experts he would have gotten several superior plans.
  • Congress should not be stampeded into bad legislation because Hank Paulson is a timorous mouse with delusions of godhood. Dodd and Barney Frank should take the time to do this right. It is probably prudent to leave Paulson out of this process because his high-pitched squealing would just be a distraction.
No, I am not deluded into think this is the last I will write on the Paulson Bailout. But I can dream, can't I?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Price Must Be Paid - Four

Has anyone else noticed that no CEO has requested the Wall Street Bailout? All of the impetus for this has come from Bernanke and Paulson. The businesses that are to benefit from the Bailout have been silent. Curious, no?

It could be that the requests were made privately and Bernanke and Paulson acting as dutiful servants to the major banks. It is also possible that this "crisis" is fake. That it is a political construct, an October Surprise designed by the Bush Administration to game the election.

It being fake would explain the strange argument that unless the Bailout is made outlandishly sweet the banks might refuse to participate. As if CEOs would prefer unemployment to losing their bonuses for a year or two. It is as if this is being set up to fail so Democrats can be "blamed" for the "failure."

Monday, September 22, 2008

That Little Old Calvinist, Me

I have noticed a certain hardcore compassionlessness has crept into my writing recently.

Partly I'm angry because the Randians whose job it is to rail against any form of public kindness have been strangely silent on the Wall Street Bailout. The same people who complained about the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Katrina can't seem to come up with a cogent argument regarding the wholesale bailout of Wall Street millionaires.

Mostly I'm angry because the Robber Barons who profited by the billions (Lehman Bros (2006) and Lehman Bros. (2008), Goldman Sachs (2006) and Goldman Sachs (2005)) bringing the nation into this crisis are now lobbying to profit by the billions through the bailout. (Note: those four reports total $43 billion in bonuses for just two companies for just two years each. Add in all of the hedge funds, investment banks, and commercial banks for the entire length of the Bush Presidency and we would get damn close to the magic $700 billion mark.)

A Price Must Be Paid. The people who are destroying the world's economy must not be allowed to profit by it.

A Price Must Be Paid - Three

To participate in the Wall Street Bailout, all senior management must have first returned all bonuses, including exercised or outstanding stock options, received during the previous twelve months. As long as the Government owns the assets purchased in the Bailout, no senior management may receive any stock options, bonuses, or severance payments.

If management is not willing to relinquish their bonuses, stock options, and golden parachutes then they are not in need of a government bailout.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Price Must Be Paid - Two

If this abysmal Wall Street Bailout has to be enacted it must be paid for with a hefty surcharge on the dividends and capital gains of everyone earning in excess of $200,000. We are bailing out the rich - the rich should fucking well pay for it.

A Price Must Be Paid

The Wall Street Journal has the text of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. It is egregious.

Section 4 allows for only vague and infrequent reports to Congress.
Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.
Improvement to Section 4
The Treasury Secretary must submit written reports under penalty of perjury to both houses of Congress on a monthly basis. The reports must be fully public with no information redacted. The reports must list all transactions under this plan, the book value of the debt being acquired, the current market value, and the price the Government paid for the debt.

All sales of assets under this Act must be similarly reported (book value, current value, price paid to the Government). If the price paid to the Government is less than the current value or the price the Government paid to purchase the asset the Treasury Sec. must explain to Congress in detail the reason for this discrepancy.

Section 8 grants absolute autonomous power to the Treasury Sec.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Improvement to Section 8
All existing laws apply to the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act. Congress has the absolute right to review the actions and decisions of the Secretary and to appoint such reviewing authorities Congress deems necessary.

(Stiff criminal penalties for defrauding the Government under this program must be stated in the law. Such defrauding to include misrepresenting the book or current value of the debt. Both the corporation and its responsible officers are legally responsible for the information provided by the corporation it must be provided under penalty of perjury.)

Additional Section
The accounting books for any corporation participating in this program are to be open in their entity to examination by the Treasury Department or the United States Congress for as long as the Federal Government holds the debt acquired.
There is more I would like but the above are the minimum changes to make the Paulson Bank Bailout Act acceptable. My wish list improvements are:
  • Every corporation participating in this program is restricted to the compensation it pays to all employees, individual consultants, and board members. For five years from first participation no individual may receive total compensation (salary, bonuses, stock options) in excess of twelve times the median household salary for the preceding years. In 2007 the median household salary was $50,233 meaning the highest compensation allowed for 2008 would be $602,796.
  • The government is to receive equity in the corporation equal to some percentage (say 20%) of the difference between the book value and the price paid for the assets purchased by the Government. This equity to be used to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

McCain's Proposal: Make the Nation's Health Care Like the Banking System

I've known for some time that John McCain wanted to use banking deregulation as the pattern for reforming (by reform he means utterly destroy) health care. It was sort of his secret. He believed it, he'd share that belief with the right ultra-conservative crowd, but I didn't think him stupid enough to chat it up to the broader public. I was wrong.
Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation. ~ John McCain in Contingencies Magazine Sept/Oct 2008
In one sentence McCain puts himself foursquare behind the policies that have caused the banking industry to dissolve and he has promised to do the very same thing to health insurance. What an astonishing toofer. And it is out there in print, available in many of the finer HMO waiting rooms.

Contingencies Magazine website

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Guess We're All Communists Now

What a week! The government nationalized the mortgage industry when it took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government nationalized the insurance industry with the forced acquisition of AIG. Now the government is building a garbage bank where all the lesser banks can sell their worthless bad paper - meaning, of course, that bankers now have absolutely no incentive to use due diligence while writing loans to their wasteful billionaire buddies.

Add in domestic spying and internal passports and we will have created a Communist government of a type Ronald Reagan used to denounce.

The United States government is Communist with a Chinese tint. The rich and connected know the government is always ready to help them if they stumble. It will pick them up and refill their pockets with gold. The poor and what is left of the middle class know they are on their own. Success is impossible. Should they fail, as they surely must, all they will receive is a lecture on Republican Self Reliance.

Call Them 'Bushvilles'

In a echo of the Depression era "Hoovervilles" the AP is reporting on modern tent cities populated by the thousands of Americans made homeless by the economic crisis.

For those people whose high school history instructions was derelict (Sarah Palin), "Hooverville" was the collective name for the homeless encampments that sprang up around American cities during the 1930's. They were named for President Herbert Hoover. Under that Republican president, as now, what assistance that was available went to the wealthy cronies of the politically powerful.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin-McCain Times Three

Way back when e-mail was new and I was an adviser to an elected official I gave her some advice:
Never write anything in an e-mail you wouldn't want to see posted on the first floor bulletin board.
Palin used an insecure, public e-mail account and it got hacked. Of course it did. Grow up. That's why governments maintain highly secure accounts. Palin was stupid to use a Yahoo account.

Questions and Answers:
Sarah Palin actually tried to answer a question at a McCain townhall meeting. As her answer faded into a testy babble McCain had to come to her rescue.

Palin delivers speeches reasonably well but she is lost in a question-answer format. Like Bush, she has a problem understanding the subject-verb sentence structure concept. Unlike Bush she doesn't have a native, childlike wit to fall back on when she has to ad-lib.

Who Gets Top Billing:
Sarah today put herself at the top of the ticket. She's been upstaging Old Man John for some time, she is stealing top billing for herself now too. If they win I expect Sarah will lock John in the Lincoln Bedroom and just take over.

Two Snapshots of the Coming Depression

Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it means everything.
  • Fine Dining is Kaput. I drove by Anthony's Fish Grotto here in San Diego at lunch time today. It's a mid-range eatery - somewhat pricey (dinner for two will cost about $60 without wine), but well below the most expensive hashhouses in town. They normally have about 25 cars in their parking lot for lunch. Today there were four.
  • Empty Grocery Shelves. Later I went to Vons grocery store to buy some fresh vegetables. There were gapping holes in the fresh food aisles. There was no broccoli, no green beans, a slim selection of fresh meats, and the fruit look past its prime. The canned and packaged food aisles were full. It was as if anything with a long shelf life was still abundant while those things that have to be delivered fresh daily was in short supply. As if several suppliers stopped delivering.
Maybe I just caught a couple of anomalies. I hope so. Or, maybe I spotted the leading edge of the total collapse of the nation's economy. I hope I'm just being paranoid.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

McCain: Deregulation Hawk

One could argue, quite accurately, that John McCain is responsible for the Nation's economic crisis. McCain has worked his entire career to deregulate the financial industry - with disastrous results.
It is true that, as of today, John McCain is urging reregulating the financial markets. Of course that would mean undoing his life's work. But, John McCain wouldn't lie, would he? He wouldn't say one thing now to get elected and do another thing after he gets in office, would he?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Black Monday

The stock market is poised to fall off a cliff today. It will be an old fashioned Panic, a blood letting. But everything is okay because John McCain has declared the economy is fundamentally strong and he wouldn't lie, would he?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palin Is a Chorine

He used to like to take me out and show me off. Ugly guys like to do that.
I've been wondering what Sarah Palin is. Not who she is, I know that, but what role she fills.

John McCain hardly goes anywhere anymore without Palin on his arm. She's more important than mere arm candy. She's more like a brunette chorine. Like a magician's assistant, her job is to wear a tight skirt, flash some leg, smile a lot, and distract the audience from the slight-of-hand going on. And I have to say she is doing a good job. Nobody is paying attention to anything McCain says anymore.
Another celebrity chorine, Roxie Hart.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hunker Down

Tens of thousands of people are suffering in Houston because they listened to official advise to "Hunker Down."

Of course now those same officials who instructed Houstonians to stay in place because evacuating an American city is too difficult a tack for government to manage are now blaming the victims of the hurricane for not leaving.

Yet another example of government hypocrisy written in innocent blood.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Murdering Straight Talk

John McCain has murdered the concept of Straight Talk. His lies are bold and frequent. He has learned the teachings of a master that if he always lies and repeats the lies endlessly in the face of contradiction people will believe the lies. When caught lying he attacks - it is "disrespectful" to show he has lied.

This is not a ruthless Nazi reference, it is a pathological liar reference. As a liar, John McCain has exceeded the reach of George Bush and is equaling the skill of Hitler's Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels. As Goebbels knew, skillful pathological liars can gain ultimate power.

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."

And one for Sarah Palin. "Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Time to Focus

Judging from what I'm seeing I don't think they need it, but here is some advice for the Obama campaign.
  • Forget Sarah Palin. She is a meaningless celebrity. The newsmedia is going to spend way too much space on her, she doesn't deserve a breath from the campaign except to denounce her whenever some vile noise emits from her mouth. The opponent is John McCain.
  • Ignore the published polls. According to the published polls (Rasmussen, Gallup, etc.) some 90+ percent of the public is solidly behind one candidate or the other. That's hogwash. The truth is 40% of the electorate, mas or menos, is persuadable. The published polls are advertising for the polling companies so they want to appear definitive when accurate polling would show it still a general mishmash.
  • Never apologize. Double down on any attack that draws blood. For example: "That lipstick wearing pig I'm talking about is John McCain."
  • Fight for the right to vote. Republicans are currently working to prevent Democrats from voting in battleground states like Ohio, Florida, and Virginia. Many states will be won or lost depending on whether or not Republicans succeed in stealing the right to vote from the American people.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Agony of de Feet

On a completely personal note, I am in pain (poor dear). Or at least my feet hurt. The right foot came first with Achilles tendonitis. Not wanting to be ignored, my left foot developed a really nasty case of plantar fasciitis. The result is that walking is a test of creative foot placement to minimizing the sharp, stabbing pain while I wait for my podiatry appointment.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Making Enemies Wherever We Go

Be sure you are right - then go ahead. ~ Davy Crockett
Everyone knows that the Taliban leadership and what's left of Bin Laden are hiding out in the lawless region of Pakistan. The problem with the recent attack by the United States into sovereign Pakistan was it was a monumental cockup. The attack may, or may not, have killed anyone important but it certainly killed a score of innocents.

Obviously timed to coincide with the Republican Convention, the September 3 attack probably failed since there was no bragging about it from the podium the following day. Instead the United States followed the attack by announcing we will be selling nuclear technology to Pakistan's enemy, India.

Clumsy, ham-handed, politically motivated, ill-considered, deadly, and a failure. It was Republican diplomacy at its best.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Real Original Maverick

They used to say in vaudeville that you never want to follow an animal act. John McCain fell into that trap. Never a compelling speaker he was positively soporific last night following Palin's snarling attack dog performance.
But I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about Maverick, the REAL Maverick.

The real Maverick was a gambler, an inveterate poker player, and something of a con man. He was lazy and, above all else, a coward. As his Pappy always said, "He who fights and runs away lives to run away another day."

The real Maverick was Bret Maverick as played by James Garner in the 1950's television program. The entire series can be seen weekdays and 6 pm on the Encore Western cable channel.
As my old pappy used to say, 'work is fine for killin' time, but it's a shaky way to make a living.' ~ Bret Maverick

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pit Bull

The reviews are in and Sarah Palin is the new Spiro Agnew.

An attack dog skilled at reading other people's writings (Who will be her William Safire?), she has set her career path. It will be a ugly path never mitigated with pleasant prose. And it will likely end with her serving time in prison. Hopefully, I will not need to spend any additional time thinking about her.

Full creds to Jonathan Singer who saw this potential before anyone else.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Focus Grouping the Republican Convention

As I said earlier, the focus groups for conventions are both party's political junkies.

The reaction to Tuesday was, well, nothing. Virtually nobody, even right-wing blogs like Redstate had anything to say about the speeches. Up until now the Republican Convention is a non-event.

Everyone is waiting for Sarah Palin tonight. It is not that people have low expectations for her, they don't know what to expect. Unlike Dan Quayle, she has to do more than just be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. This is her roll-out for 99.95% of the American people. She has one chance, just this one single chance to impress.

What to expect. The cheering will be so loud early she won't be allowed to finish sentences without being interrupted. Expect her to spend an inordinate amount of time just smiling at the cameras. The cheering often will come at inappropriate moments as the crowd will be trying to protect her from looking lost or hesitant. The words themselves will be completely meaningless. Republicans at the end will be calling it the greatest oration since Cicero. Frankly, they will be thrilled if she doesn't get obvious flop sweat.

People will be watching in the same way they gawk at traffic accidents, hoping to see blood on the streets. Me? I've got the Discovery Channel.