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Friday, September 26, 2008

Debate Libation

Porcupine is tipsy, as he began a drinking game shortly after the beginning of tonight's debate.

He had another drink every time Sen. Obama said, "Sen. McCain is absolutely right...."

Both did very well. Obama ascended from liberal figurehead to credible opponent, but he still seemed a potpourri of stock phrases rather than a leader.

On the whole, McCain won the debate - especially with his inspiring final statement.

We'll see if that's just the whisky talking.

I TOLD You I was Sick~

Earlier today, the Instapundit Glenn Reynolds had a poll up about Sen. McCain's determination to hold a meeting with his rival Sen. Obama and Congressional leadership to agree upon a financial package. The question was - McCain's Campaign Suspension is:
Brilliant and patriotic, OR A Dumb stunt, OR Both, OR I'm voting "present" on this one.
After laughing heartily, Porcupine voted - Both. It was totally high stakes, totally unexpected, and yet it was just about the only maneuver that would get that crowd (Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Boehner, Bush, etc.) into the same room on an informal basis. McCain had been saying darkly for days that there WAS no consensus, that there would BE no action, yet the financial markets would flounder without quick action. So he tried to force the situation by endangering what the Democrats wanted more than anything else - the Presidential debate in Mississippi where they presumed that Obama would wipe up the floor with him.
Going in a two o'clock, the Democrats engaged in a little histrionic eyerolling. Of COURSE there was an agreement in principle, of course legislation would pass - within hours! This was just McCain showboating, and while they would humor him, it really was poor form to try to make Congress look divided when everything was decided. Barney Frank went so far as to compare McCain to the late comedian Andy Kaufman, singing the Mighty Mouse song, "HERE I cooome to save the DAaaay..."
Early leaks sneered at McCain for sitting there like a lump and barely speaking, when HE was the one who instigated the meeting in the first place. But by four pm, the picture had changed.
The Senate Democrats, the President, Sec. Paulsen and Bernanke were all on the same page. The House members of Financial Services had apparently been well briefed by their Senate counterparts - the only thing to do was to add more 'constituent' protection in addition to properly punishing the Evil Korprorations. Free mortgage bailouts for all! In fact, Speaker Pelosi had begun to ruminate about getting rid of those credit card balances for the little people as well. And then the House Republicans spiked the entire deal, and it all fell apart.
It's interesting - Anyone who thinks that McCain has 'voted with' Bush by voting with the Republican leadership has been shown just how much control Bush has over Congress. McCain has served in Congress for decades, and knows people like Mike Pence and Boehnor who are adamantly opposed to the bailout. Both say they were never consulted about the bill, but were expected by the Senate and the President to just rubber stamp what was put in front of them. John McCain has actually performed a real service by making these people sit down together, sooner rather than later, and get Frank and Dodd to stop swanning around claiming the problem is solved just because THEY know what they want.
Once again, Obama has voted 'Present' by not knowing the temper of the Congress due to his lack of legislative experience and Congressional connections, and his insistence that trading rhetoric is more important than trading - and listening to - ideas and perspectives. Like the old joke about the tombstone that reads, "I TOLD You I was Sick!" , McCain sounded a necessary alarm and exposed a problem the cognoscenti though nonexistent.
Not that it was necessary or anything....

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who Am I?

I am under 45 years old.

I love the outdoors.

I hunt.

I am a Republican reformer.

I have taken on the Republican Party establishment.

I have many children.

I have a spot on the national ticket as Vice President with less than two years in the governor's office.

Have you ever heard of me before now?

I am Theodore Roosevelt.

Note: Porcupine only wishes this was original, but received it in a circulating email and decided it deserved some additional exposure - kudos to the author, whomever it may be.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Memento Mori - Seven Years Out...

Porcupine first wrote this post on the Fifth Anniversary of Sept. 11th - and repeats it now to honor the memory of Patty Mickley....

Her name was Patricia L. Mickley, but everybody called her ‘Patty’. It was an ordinary work day as she began her drive to her job from her home in Springfield, Virginia, which she shared with her husband, Joseph.

The front of her mind was on the folders with the budget analyses that were waiting for her on her desk, but the back of her mind was taken up with her daughter. School had started again, and Patty only hoped that this winter would be a mild one, as she didn’t want to go through another winter with her having earaches because of viruses caught from classmates. Besides, a mild winter meant more chances for her and Joe to go hiking together. She also tried to put together in her mind her next lesson plan for Sunday School – something about autumn, the change of seasons and life, maybe. That verse in Ecclesiastes.

She left her car in her space, and swiped and displayed her badge at the various checkpoints as she went down the system of elevators and corridors which led to her desk. She said hi to friends, made plans for lunch, and hoped that the run in her stockings which had begun at her heel when she put them on wouldn’t get worse during the day.

She got to her desk, put her purse in her bottom drawer, and reached forward to boot up her computer to start work. Glancing at the folders as she leaned back in her chair, she wondered briefly if she could work in a hair appointment to get a cut before she and Joe started to take time off and go to parties for the holidays.

Then an airplane hit her desk.

Patty Mickley was killed at her desk in the Pentagon on Sept.
, 2001, five years ago from the moment when this tribute is posted. Porcupine was glad that The project assigned him a victim from the Pentagon, as those people sometimes get overlooked a little in remembrances. Also, Porcupine has spent his entire adult life working in financial management, in banking, insurance and government, and when he saw Patty Mickley’s face, he realized that she could have been any one of the hundreds of women he had worked with, shared coffee with, had lunch with, joked with, and talked with over the last few decades. The only difference was that her management job was in a building that was a terrorist target, and she paid for her diligence and work ethic with her life.

As it happens, Porcupine spent that day at a desk in a reasonably prominent government building. While it is not regarded as much of a target now, it is the only building in Boston with a 22 karat gold roof, and it would have made a splendid target for an airplane taking off from Logan Airport – in its own way, the Massachusetts State House is distinctive as the
building. Truly, there but for the grace of God go I.

Porcupine extends his condolences to Patty’s husband and daughter on this anniversary. It is the Patty Mickleys and their work that make America function, and her family has the thanks of a nations which is grateful to her and honors her sacrifice – even if we didn’t know her name.

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