I have posted just under 1,000 photos on Flickr over the past few years. According to Flickr’ stats, my photos have been viewed just under 35,000. If that seems like a lot, consider that isn’t 35,000 people, that’s 35,000 views (average = 35 views per photo). Odds are that no more than two dozen people have seen most or all of my photos. (And anyone who hasn’t seen them all never will at this point – can you imaging how long it would take.) I consider a good ‘audience’ around 50 people. One hundred views is a lot.

flickr_topsHowever, I have a few photos that have been seen by a much higher than average number of people. For the longest time, my most-seen photo was one I half-jokingly call Albuquerque Wetlands: lush greenery in the bottom of a concrete arroyo near the Big-I. I attribute most of those viewers to John Fleck, because he highlighted that photo.

Two photos have started moving up this year. A photo of a pasque flower started climbing this spring and surpassed Abq Wetlands handily. Then, even more surprising, a photo of a big brown spider jumped in the past month or two, each day gaining more than a dozen views. Spider has now eclipsed pasque flower and all others as my most seen photo. (For the record, I have far better photos of spiders and flowers.) I don’t know if someone has linked to each of these photos, but I can’t imagine people are searching every day for these images.

The New Republicans Will Fix Things The Old Republicans Couldn’t — yeah, right

It isn’t often that public outrage peaks so close to an election, but this is a rare moment in history when "we the people" can exact a price from the political leadership that has duped, scammed and lied to them, contributing mightily to the current financial mess. …

If the public wants real reform, it will penalize the people and the party that failed to provide it. Voters can do more than "throw the bums out." …

Amen, Cal Thomas. Let’s throw out the bastards who have dominated the political scene since 1980. Let’s get those bums who ran everything from 1980 to 1992, returned to power in 1994, and then, following a squeaker in 2004, declared a mighty mandate and a generation of GOP rule to come. Oh, but let’s see who Cal wants to replace the bums with:

They can throw these bums out and replace them with freshmen Republicans who will take office with a reformer’s zeal and rebuild the government’s financial house before the Potomac fever virus infects them. With John McCain and Sarah Palin already committed to reform (as opposed to Barack Obama’s nonspecific "change"), the combination of a new Republican administration and a Republican Congress that has been chastened by its defeat in the 2006 election and imbued with a new zeal to change the way Washington works, could produce a revolution that would have made our Founders proud. …

While Republicans could have done much more when they held a congressional majority under a Republican president, they now swear they have learned their lesson. With the public engaged as never before, even Republicans wouldn’t be able to get away with business as usual this time.

Let the revolution begin! Judgment Day should come on Nov. 4.

Cal Thomas

So, Cal’s argument is: (1) the Democrats are the bums and (2) Republicans will fix things before they are re-corrupted and (3) even if you don’t trust Republicans, they’ll be on good behavior if you watch them closely. Ignore 1994. Ignore every year from 2000 to 2006.

Today, I heard a McCain supporter opine that Democrats want to do everything themselves and it takes someone like McCain to work with both sides of the partisan divide. A divide continually enlarged by Republicans strategists, culture warriors and leaders. Well, in the face of the economic crisis, Dems are working with Republicans. We all know from experience, Republicans were not so generous in their heyday. Recall Tom “The Hammer” DeLay and his ilk. We’ve been throwing the bums out for 2 years and have one more big push. Good riddance. peace, mjh

“What do you think of the plan, John?”

Today, the Washington Post reveals more details about what happened during the White House meeting on Thursday between President Bush and top lawmakers. Despite indicating that his presence was pivotal in Washington for these bailout negotiations, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said almost nothing during the meeting with Bush:

Bush turned to McCain, who joked, “The longer I am around here, the more I respect seniority.” McCain then turned to Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to speak first.

Boehner was blunt. The plan Paulson laid out would not win the support of the vast majority of House Republicans. It had been improved on the edges, with an oversight board and caps on the compensation of participating executives. But it had to be changed at the core. He did not mention the insurance alternative, but Democrats did. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, pressed Boehner hard, asking him if he really intended to scrap the deal and start again.

No, Boehner replied, he just wanted his members to have a voice. Obama then jumped in to turn the question on his rival: “What do you think of the [insurance] plan, John?” he asked repeatedly. McCain did not answer.

He doesn’t understand.

McCain was repeatedly insulting to Obama in the debate. McCain said, "He doesn’t understand" at least four times. Asshole.

[updated 9/27/08]

In a CBS News poll, uncommitted voters see Barack as the debate winner. When it comes to the economy, 66% say Barack would make the right decisions versus 42% for McCain.
The CNN poll results are also clear:

Who did the best job tonight?
Barack: 51
McCain: 38

Who would better handle Iraq?
Barack: 52
McCain: 47

Who would better handle the economy?
Barack: 58
McCain: 37

Mission Accomplished

From Think Progress:

Over on the Wonk Room, Matt Duss recalls this line from Osama bin Laden’s surprise late-October 2004 videotaped address:

And even more dangerous and bitter for America is that the Mujahedin recently forced Bush to resort to emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq which is evidence of the success of the bleed-until-bankruptcy plan with Allah’s permission… And it all shows that the real loser is… you. It’s the American people and their economy.

The CIA judged that Bin Laden’s videotaped message was an effort by al Qaeda to deliver four more years for President Bush, thus helping them recruit a new generation of terrorists.

Against McCain

Just read this scathing indictment of John McCain:

… while McCain’s campaign, characteristically substituting vehemence for coherence …

[T]he more one sees of [McCain’s] impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

My god, what flaming liberal said that about McCain?! Read on:

Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that “McCain untethered” — disconnected from knowledge and principle — had made a “false and deeply unfair” attack on Cox that was “unpresidential” and demonstrated that McCain “doesn’t understand what’s happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does.” …

In any case, McCain’s smear — that Cox “betrayed the public’s trust” — is a harbinger of a McCain presidency. For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are “corrupt” or “betray the public’s trust,” two categories that seem to be exhaustive — there are no other people.

Man, who is this unpatriotic socialist? Well, you’ll know him by his true colors, a stark black and white that denies even gray exists, let alone real color.

The political left always aims to expand the permeation of economic life by politics. Today, the efficient means to that end is government control of capital. So, is not McCain’s party now conducting the most leftist administration in American history? The New Deal never acted so precipitously on such a scale.

Oh, of course, that must be George Will explaining that McCain isn’t merely a disappointment to conservatives, but is actually himself a leftist socialist.

Not only is McSame the next Duhbya, but he’ll preserve Duhbya’s relationship to conservatives – he’s not conservative enough! Shudder. I thought Sarah Failin placated the Radical Wrong. peace, mjh

George F. Will – McCain Loses His Head –

Prejudice Comes in All Colors

GOP Leader Won’t Resign, By Jeff Jones
Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal

By late morning, however, audio-taped C de Baca comments from a separate BBC radio interview began making the rounds in New Mexico.

       “I feel strongly that Hispanics will not support, in my generation and the generation around my age, are not going to support the Democratic candidate for president primarily because there is a strong feeling that African-Americans during the civil-rights movement took advantage, full advantage, of all the benefits and programs that the government offered, that were supposed to be offered to all minorities,” C de Baca said in the newly released interview with the British broadcasting giant.

       “But we were left behind, we were left sucking air, and we resented that ever since the ’60s, and I don’t see how a black president is going to change that,” C de Baca said in the interview recorded in Albuquerque last week in connection with a foreign journalist tour.

I’m outside any quarrel between Hispanics and African-Americans. I’m surprised, though, that a Hispanic would resent blacks “taking advantage” of benefits. C de Baca implies that blacks took more than their share and left Hispanics empty handed. An odd view for a conservative, who should resent anyone who takes advantage of government support – anyone other than countless corporations.

Time to recall this quote from just a few weeks ago:

Garcia, 71, lives in Doña Ana, just north of Las Cruces. She thinks Obama has come off as condescending and arrogant.

“I don’t know one single Hispanic over 50 who will cast a vote for Obama,” she said, conceding that “there have always been conflicts between blacks and browns.

New Mexico : Betting on the West : The Rocky Mountain News By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, Rocky Mountain News

peace, mjh