The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Walter Reed, um, Middle School?

I can't help chuckling at a minor bit of low-level incompetence from McCain's speech last night. It's not even his fault, though I'm sure someone on the campaign staff might get an early winter vacation. Apparently, the building projected behind McCain during his speech was not, as he might have wished, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, but Walter Reed Middle School in—no small irony—North Hollywood, Calif. And now the school has issued a statement (via TPM; emphasis in original):

It has been brought to the school's attention that a picture of the front of our school, Walter Reed Middle School, was used as a backdrop at the Republican National Convention. Permission to use the front of our school for the Republican National Convention was not given by our school nor is the use of our school's picture an endorsement of any political party or view.

(The working hypothesis is that a staffer Googled "Walter Reed" and punted.)

Get your bruschetta out of my Camembert!

Via reader JV, a report of a "wine-and-cheese spattering melée" at the Ravinia Festival:

After setting up their blankets, chairs and a tarp, a group of concertgoers from Arlington Heights left for a restaurant. Returning an hour later, they found their belongings displaced by a Chicago group, which they confronted.

A woman in the Chicago group tried to attack a woman from the returning group, police said. A 40-year-old Chicago man then punched a 49-year-old Arlington Heights man....

(If you're not from Chicago, imagine a mud-wrestling match at Wimbledon and you'll see the humor.)

Tribune fact-checks Palin

Good piece in the Chicago Tribune this morning analyzing the speech GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave last night:

Some examples:

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."


FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

And then there was Rudy Giuliani's speech, about which I will defer to Talking Points Memo:

With Rudy's speech, to riff on the brilliance of the immortal Molly Ivins, I think I preferred this speech in the original German.

Magic number: 19

In baseball, the "magic number" is the number of your team's wins and the next-best team's losses that clinch the division title. Despite the Cubs' 5-game losing streak this past week, (mitigated by the Brewers' three losses in the same period), the Cubs' magic number today stands at 19, with 23 games left. So 19 Cubs wins or 19 Brewers losses, or any combination thereof, means the Cubs go to the National League Division Series.

Still, one might have preferred the Cubs not drop five straight in September...

CNN Smackdown

Via Talking Points Memo, the McCain campaign has trouble explaining Gov. Palin's foreign-policy experience. Even CNN is fed up: Alaska bordering Russia, and Palin having "command" of the Alaska National Guard, are neither "foreign-policy experience" nor a combination of things we'd ever want to see taken to a logical conclusion. But here's the interview:

After Palin goes the way of Harriet Miers, perhaps "Fast Draw" McCain might vet the next candidate?