Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hey Phillies fans...


If you were unconscious last night:


And, gotta give props to this:

Philly rulez!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

John McCain on the last 8 years

New ad on our good friend John McCain by the Young Turks. What more needs to be said?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

All Sorts of Shit Going Down Today in Philly

Obama's pulled a whirlwind tour through North Philly. Followed by some fundraisers.

Palin's in town for a puck drop at the Flyer's game, and protests are planned. ACT UP will reportedly be protesting a Palin fundraiser beforehand.

Keystone State Skinheads will be celebrating "Leif Ericson Day" on the Schuylkill.

FBI helicopters with gunmen dangling from them have been and will be seen throughout the city all day, but that's just for a movie.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Re: Yoga for Real Americans

Blogging in response to YogaForCynics recent "Yoga for Real Americans" post, whose author is soliciting real American yoga poses:

I don’t know about you, but I’ve about had it with these stuck-up elitist “yoga teachers” goin’ on about how they spent all these years “practicing yoga” and “reading books” about it. I’ll learn yoga from a regular American like myself, not some fancy pants “intellectual,” thank you, and you betcha it won’t be somebody who says all all these weird words from other countries. This is America, so I say talk English or go do your cobra pose in Cuba or Iran or somewhere. Lemme ask you this: when they start sayin’ all that foreign crap like surya namaskar and supta baddha konasana how the hell do you know they’re not talkin’ about terrorism?

That’s why now I’m workin’ with my buddy Joe, who’s taught me some real American yoga poses like sittinonthecouchdrinkinbeernwatchingnascarasana and gettindrunknshootinanimalsasana as well as the restorative passedoutdrunkonthefloorasana. Anybody else know any good ones, you be sure to let everybody know about 'em down there in the comments section.
While not quite a pose, we offer YogaForCynics an honest to God American mantra ripped from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Plus it's another debate night, and the last Sunny clip we chose did such a job succinctly making McCain's maverick case than the man himself:

Update: Boo! Fox told YouTube to take the clip down and it ain't on Hulu as a clip. Anyway, the words were: "“gonna rise up, gonna kick a little ass, Gonna kick some ass in the USA, Gonna climb a mountain, Gonna sew a flag, Gonna fly on an Eagle, gonna kick some butt, gonna drive a big truck, gonna rule this world, Gonna kick some ass, Gonna rise up, Kick a little ass, ROCK, FLAG AND EAGLE!”

Friday, October 3, 2008

The writings of KungfooJesus

From the Digg discussion on the Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart. Sometimes you come across a post that just sums up a topic neatly.


Remember, we twice voted into office a president we'd like to have a beer with. The republicans are gaming on her to connect with people on a very familiar level. I hate to say it, but she did exactly what she needed to do in the Karl Rove presidential politics playbook. She repeated things over and over, made accusations that sounded bad without having to back them up, and did not go into specifics really on anything except McCain's healthcare tax credit.

The thinking is that the less hardcore information you give voters about your plans, the less chance there is to find something wrong with it. These are the same people that took a one-term Texas governor and turned him into a president, there are striking similarities between him and Palin. Folksy, approachable, want to have a beer with them (or in Palin's case, a bottle of wine and angry sex that brings up insecurities from your childhood), short political career ending with governor, and they debate the exact same way. Why? because this shit works. Granted McCain is a better candidate than Bush but the republicans game politics better than dems. period. it sucks.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

South Philly for McCain Doorknob Flier Gets Cockblocked by Rolling Stone

I haven't seen them on my block, but Philebrity reports McCain supporters hanging doorknob literature trying to seduce South Philly machismo into voting for McCain. The text reads:


The people of South Philly have long been special to John McCain. He knows the struggles and he knows the strengths of the neighborhood. As he recalled in his first interview after being released from a Vietnamese prison camp:
We had a particularly bad spring and summer in 1969 because there had been an escape at one of the other camps. Our guys carried out a well-prepared plan but were caught. They were Ed Atterberry and John Dramesi. Atterberry was beaten to death after he escaped.
There is no question about it: Dramesi saw Atterberry taken into a room and heard the beating start. Atterberry never came out. Dramesi, if he wasn't such a tough cookie, would probably have been killed too. He's probably one of the toughest guys I have ever met -- from South Philly. "Star and Stripes"

McCain knows South Philly!

Paid for by Al Schmidt
Philebrity credits "South Philly for McCain" as the source of the doorknocker. There may well be a "South Philly for McCain" chapter of the McCain campaign in Philadelphia, but all we could find was this Phillyblog thread about the opening of a McCain office in South Philadelphia. A quick Google of Al Schmidt indicates he's the executive director of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee though isn't listed on the Committee's relatively minimal website. There's this Citypaper profile of Schmidt when he assumed the role of Deputy Director for the city GOP, though most Google search results for him and the Committee turn up the executive director title.

Anyway, the tactic here is obvious. Dramesi's a tough as nails guy from South Philly! A lot of guys of all ages in South Philly like to think of themselves as tough as nails too. So, hey, they ought to identify with Dramesi and back McCain! Right?

Not so fast.

Before we get into it, it should be noted that this account may not have actually come from "Stars and Stripes," but rather an exclusive oral history McCain gave about his POW experience to U.S. News and World Report. Admittedly, that corrections a bit nitpicky, but the original and actual source of the quotation also includes the mention by the article's editor that at the time of the writing, May 1973, McCain had been assigned to attend the Navy War College that August.

It's unclear in the article what contact McCain had, if any with Dramesi as a POW. That said, about a year after this article, Dramesi and McCain do share a moment together. Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickenson uses Dramesi's perspective on that meeting as the framing anecdote for his unflattering profile on McCain, "Make Believe Maverick" (bold emphasis Bostodelphia's):

At Fort McNair, an army base located along the Potomac River in the nation's capital, a chance reunion takes place one day between two former POWs. It's the spring of 1974, and Navy commander John Sidney McCain III has returned home from the experience in Hanoi that, according to legend, transformed him from a callow and reckless youth into a serious man of patriotism and purpose. Walking along the grounds at Fort McNair, McCain runs into John Dramesi, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who was also imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam.

McCain is studying at the National War College, a prestigious graduate program he had to pull strings with the Secretary of the Navy to get into. Dramesi is enrolled, on his own merit, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in the building next door.

There's a distance between the two men that belies their shared experience in North Vietnam — call it an honor gap. Like many American POWs, McCain broke down under torture and offered a "confession" to his North Vietnamese captors. Dramesi, in contrast, attempted two daring escapes. For the second he was brutalized for a month with daily torture sessions that nearly killed him. His partner in the escape, Lt. Col. Ed Atterberry, didn't survive the mistreatment. But Dramesi never said a disloyal word, and for his heroism was awarded two Air Force Crosses, one of the service's highest distinctions. McCain would later hail him as "one of the toughest guys I've ever met."

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

"I'm going to the Middle East," Dramesi says. "Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran."

"Why are you going to the Middle East?" McCain asks, dismissively.

"It's a place we're probably going to have some problems," Dramesi says.

"Why? Where are you going to, John?"

"Oh, I'm going to Rio."

"What the hell are you going to Rio for?"

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

"I got a better chance of getting laid."

Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. "McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man," Dramesi says today. "But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in."

Later in the profile, Dramesi makes it clear he wasn't interested in removing any honor from McCain's service, though does find the celebration of McCain's POW experience a bit much, given that Dramesi doesn't find McCain an exceptional example of POW conduct. That aside, it's clear Al Schmidt and his South Philadelphia operators pulled a boner in choosing Dramesi as an icon to draw macho South Philly into McCain's camp. Dramesi clearly isn't interested in being a McCain campaign surrogate, so the only really lesson South Philly can take from Dramesi's character is this: Man up, and call out the McCain campaign on its bullshit. McCain might say he knows South Philly, but South Philly should know McCain is full of it.