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John “Tiny Tim” McCain – The Undecider?

Wesley Clark spoke the truth last week in an unfortunate way. He said that being shot down and held captive and tortured does not necessarily endow one with the skills to run a country. He was slammed for this and he should have foreseen how such a comment would have played in the press. McCain slips into his role as Dickens’ Tiny Tim whenever anyone criticizes him. He opens his closet, drags out his crutches and looks pitiful. It’s tiring and predictable.

Wesley Clark spoke the truth. McCain couldn’t run a lemonade stand. An article in the New York Times today about the relentlessly poor management of the McCain campaign supports Clark. From the New York Times:

Senator McCain’s campaigns have long been defined by internal squabbling and power plays, zigzagging lines of command and a penchant by the candidate for consulting with former advisers without alerting current ones, always a recipe for disquiet.

McCain is the boy who never grew up. He’s immature and that’s the irony of this campaign. The younger man, Obama, is the more mature candidate.

McCain’s staff is now dominated by the disciples of Karl Rove. That’s profoundly disturbing and it means that the campaign is going to be very nasty. Horrible things will be done and said by this staff and “Tiny Tim” McCain will hobble to the microphone on his crutches and say he doesn’t believe in that and won’t tolerate it and it will continue to happen. He’s done that for his whole career. He plays it one way in front the camera in his “Tiny Tim” character and then he does the opposite when the TV lights are turned off. Pardon me for saying this, but the only thing possibly worse than four more years of Bush is four years of McCain. Or, should I say, Karl Rove, part deux. From the Times article:

Mr. Rove is not directly involved in the McCain campaign, but his presence there can be seen in the number of his protégés who now hold central roles there. Mr. Schmidt tops that list; coming in a very close second is Nicolle Wallace, who was communications director for Mr. Bush in 2004 and in the White House.

All of this intrigue breeds discouragement among even those former McCain associates who do not dispute the notion that voters now might be getting an early glimpse of the messy, unstructured way in which a McCain White House might be managed. They are hard-pressed to explain why Mr. McCain tolerates this — or encourages this — or why he has trouble cutting ties with people who have not served him well over the years.

“I can’t answer the why,” said John Weaver, who was one of Mr. McCain’s closest advisers before being forced out in a shake-up last year. “It is just that way and for his own sake, he needs to finally, firmly decide where he wants to take this campaign.”

July 8, 2008   No Comments

The Walrus Knows


There’s a very interesting article in the Science section of today’s New York Times on the Walrus. They are magnificent creatures. I’ve always been fascinated by them.

NATALIE ANGIER the author of the New York Times article received this advice before her first Walrus meet-up:

Just as we were entering the walrus house at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., however, Dr. Schusterman tossed out a bit of advice. “The first thing the walruses will do when they come over is start pushing at you, pressing their heads right into your stomach,” he said. “Don’t let them get away with that. No matter how hard they push, you have to stand your ground.”

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Yeah, 2000 lbs is rushing towards me and I’ll just push it back. No problem.

With all the sighs and gloomy warnings for the future of the Polar Bear, I have to admit that I feel more kinship with the Walrus. I fear for their future. They are unique in all the world. From the New York Times article:

Evidence suggests that the bonds between walruses are exceptionally strong: the animals share food, come to one another’s aid when under attack and nurse one another’s young, a particularly noteworthy behavior given the cost in energy of synthesizing a pinniped’s calorically rich, fatty milk.

The look of the Walrus is charming, laughable and, still, it doesn’t quite invite an embrace. Yet, they are much more embraceable than any bear.

Walruses want so much to be with other walruses that if there are no other walruses around, they will make do with the next available large object.

How positively snuggly is that? It gets better. Walruses sing:

Walruses sing with their fleshy and muscular lips, tongues, muzzles and noses. They sing by striking their flippers against their chests to hit their pharyngeal pouches, balloon-like extensions of the trachea that are unique to Odobenus and that also serve as flotation devices.

What else? They play their own instrumental accompaniment.

The breadth of the walruses’ creativity exceeded all expectations, not only during training sessions but also during downtime. Dr. Reichmuth said one walrus figured out how to use a rubber toy in the pool as an instrument by pressing it against a window and blasting air through it until it sounded like a bugle. Soon two other walruses in the pool had learned to do the same thing.

They’re brilliant fantastic animals and more snuggly than 99.99% of the humans and bears on the planet.

May 20, 2008   No Comments