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And the Hubry goes to... The City of Philadelphia Zoning Board of Appeal

No one can deny that Joe Hubris is as liberal as the hills.  He believes that liberalism is the best hope for all of us.  That being said, he hates the degree that the city of Philadelphia intrudes into the lives of his fellow residents.  Now, couple that with hubris and you get the latest loss for the city and its economic health.

Wall-E: Greatest Post Apocalypse Cinema Nominee No. 2

The second nominee is: WALL-E (2008, director: Andrew Stanton, starring Kathy Najimy, Fred Willard, and Jeff Garlin)
In what is unquestionably their best work to date, the CGI team at Disney/Pixar lands a well-deserved place on this list.  One does not normally think of the post-apocalypse when one thinks of Disney--Way to break the mold!  The story of the lonely little robot with his cockroach little buddy, left behind on an Earth devastated by consumerism and waste is remarkable--made even more so by the fact that the film is still essentially a children's movie.
You cannot help but feel the authentic sense of loss that Wall-E feels as he rolls across the devastated landscape.  The visuals are outstanding.  The picture painted of a future humanity, where Walmart is the government, no one gets out of their power chairs and every meal comes out of a cinema big gulp cup is both comic and tragic.

NPR's Fresh Air Picks its Word of the Year and it's JOE!

Resident linguist, Geoff Nunburg, selected his 2008 Word of the Year and it's all coming up Joe!

UPDATE: Sadly, Miriam Webster selected "Bailout" as their Word of the Year.  Bailout?  Really?  I'm sure Geoff would agree that it lacks a certain flair.  bailout...

Comments to Joe Hubris.

Greatest Post Apocalypse Cinema

With the new year's release of The Road and the latest installment of The Terminator Saga (Terminator Salvation--finally we get to the good stuff), the all-seeing eye of Joe Hubris has been drawn to this topic.  The former is an adaptation of Cormack McCarthy's devastating novel.  The later, starring Christian Bale, carries the promise of the original Terminator's Man vs. Machine war of the future.  It all raises the question: what is the greatest post-apocalypse film ever made?

The first nomination: On the Beach (1959, director/producer: Stanley Kramer; starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins)

8 Years

From Nadir to Apex.

In 8 years, America has gone from its modern political low point to its high point.  David Axelrod is the anti-Karl Rove.  The debacle that was the 2000 race--that which seemed to so dominate our view of national politics has been washed away.

Also gone, is the Reagan era.  Up until this year, the coalition that carried the Republicans in 1980 had held.  Now, with Obama able to carry Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and perhaps North Carolina, he and his campaign have created a new coalition.  Unlike Reagan's which was white, this one is white, black and brown.  Hispanics helped deliver Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico and look to be a permanent part of the new Democratic majority.  McCain was unable to build on the progress that Bush made.  In fact, the Republicans backslid. 

Desperation on the Right: Thomas Sowell

I may or may not have heard of Professor Thomas Sowell prior to reading his column, "Ego and Mouth" on Realclearpolitics.com.  The only ego on display here, appears to belong to Mr. Sowell.

Prof. Sowell begins his piece with the modest assertion that Obama's only qualifications are "ego and mouth."  This despite his time as a Senator and his time in Illinois state politics as an elected representative of thousands of American citizens.  He follows that up with the equally supportable contention that Obama has not acheived anything other than "cocksure confidence."  And later, that he has "actually accomplished nothing."  It seems like becoming the presidential nominee of the Democratic party is an achievement and perhaps also an accomplishment.

Billy Penn Hangs On...

Leave it to the Phillies to be denied their Title, not by the other team, but by the first ppd in WS history. 

I arrived at game 5 of the World Series at "the Bank" to a steady drizzle of rain.  The game, however, would start on time.  My friend Chris and I made our way up to Harry the K's bar high above the field, at the base of the Jumbo-tron.  The stories-high TV screen blocked a lot of the rain that was coming down.

I'm not saying that things didn't get worse when they called it later, but it was perfectly predicted in the weather report and frankly, not much worse than it had been.

My complaint is that they should have just postponed the game from the beginning.  That would have been the smart/fair thing to do.  As it is, making them play in that soup blunted Philly's Number-one advantage: Cole Hamels on the mound. 

10 Days--Numbers

Things could not look worse for McCain.  I've been trolling RealClearPolitics.com for any sign of life in his campaign and I do not see it.  Of the 2000/2004 Bush states, 6 (with 72 electoral votes) are toss-ups; and 6 (with 58 electoral votes) are leaning or solid Obama.  Of the 2000/2004 Kerry/Gore States, 0 are toss-ups and 0 are leaning or solid McCain.  So that makes 130 electoral votes McCain has to somehow salvage between now and next Tuesday.  All Obama has to do is pull out perhaps 2 of those states and protect the remaining Kerry/Gore states and he will have won. 

And the Hubry Goes to: Sarah Palin and the RNC

The Republican party has built its brand on misleading the common man into believing they are the party of the common man.  They have pursued tax policies designed to enrich the rich and... enpoor(?) the poor all the while being supported by working class people who oppose hippies, gays, abortions and Europeans.

20 Days--Can Anything Save McCain?

The numbers for McCain are looking grimmer and grimmer.  Yesterday's New York Times/CBS nationwide poll gave Obama 53%-McCain 39%.  McCain only pulling 39 is just staggering to me.  I'm pretty certain that this is the lowest a major-party candidate has pulled in the era of polling.  I'm not sure how much lower he could go.  Obama is ahead by 10 points in Virginia.

It raises the question: What if anything can save McCain?  Three October Surprises come to mind.

1. Finding Osama.

What if they capture or kill Osama between now and election day?  I think this could actually hurt McCain on two fronts.  First, I think a lot of voters--especially independent voters--would be skeptical about the timing.  Also, there could be a sense that "the war on terror is over".  A sense that we don't need a president with foreign-policy expertise the way we did the day before.

Obama's Registration Drive

After the free Springsteen concert on the Parkway yesterday, I stopped by a volunteer's table on Fairmount and after raiding his button pile, I asked him how things were going.  He told me he was in charge of 2 wards and that in those 2 wards, they had 4000 new registers over the previous 5 weeks.  He had personally registered 120 people in 12 hours over Friday and Saturday.  Those numbers simply cannot be ignored--despite the fact that they aren't counted among surveys of likely voters. 

If Pennsylvania was ever in play it is not now.  I was thrilled to see Bruce (for free!) but was even more so to see him in Ohio today.

Comments to Joe Hubris.

30 Days

Wow, what a week that passed.  Washington Mutual is gone.  The Administrations last big shot--the $700b bailout of America's finance machine appears to be on the road to approval.  If there is nothing in place by tomorrow (Monday 9/29) will there be a massive sell-off?

The David Report

October 2008:

1. Croatia continues to hold its 6th place despite a loss to England and a two draws.

2. Lithuania (with under 4 million people) defeated Austria and Romania by a combined 6 to 0 to move up 17 spots in the standings to 37th overall.

August 2008:

1. Croatia.  Croatia, with their population of 4 million, is currently ranked 6th in the world by FIFA.  They are coming off a quarterfinal loss to Turkey, after posting wins against Germany, Poland and Austria, three counties with a combined population of almost 130,000--almost 33 times as large as the land of the Vatreni (the Firey).  They are by far, the greatest David in the August rankings.

2. Scotland.  Currently ranked 16th in the world, Scotland has one-seventh the poplation of England, currently ranked 14th.

The First Ever Hubry Award

The first ever Hubry goes to:

Larry Mendte

Larry Mendte is living the Hubris life.  The man has experienced massive personal and professional success, to wit: He was the Emmy-award winning anchor of his hometown news station.  He was clocking about what this reporter makes a year every month.  He had recieved the Edward R. Murrow Award for his reporting (that's like the Oscar of reporting!).  In '07, he was named one of the 75 greatest Living Philadelphians by the Daily News.

One day he gazed across the anchor desk and saw a fair maiden, named Alycia Lane, who not only was beautiful, talented and younger, but was having the same kind of success as he had experienced--and was earning more than he was!

The Race

The smart money, including Joe Hubris' is on Obama.

The Horse Race.

Since June, McCain has been ahead in only one national poll.  It is important not to overstate the value of these numbers, but hey, you'd rather have the lead than not.  And if you have only showed a lead... a couple of times(?) since the spring, you can't feel good about that.  If McCain starts to show more leads going forward, that could be a good sign for the GOP.  I keep hearing comments tonight (8/19) about the race tightening, but it seems to me that it's been about 5-8ish for Obama ever since June.

State by State.

Who is Joe Hubris?

1968, the Long Hot Summer. Half way around the world, a different kind of hot: In Portland, Oregon, an Irish Catholic woman was pregnant by her suburban WASP husband. Three months later, in the, uh... Long Hot Fall, Joe Hubris was born. Much as Achilles was defined by his post-natal dip in the Styx, So Joe was defined by the political strife, social unrest, recreational excess, and cartoon violence which dominated his gestation.

During his childhood, he focused on public service. As the hope and optimism of the 1970's faded, they were replaced by the bitter corruption and soul-stealing strictures of the '80's. But Joe was quick. He learned to put self before others. He learned to value the giant and distant over the small and local. He rebuilt his life trading sustainable hippy recycling and renewability for disposable suburban consumption.

Obama Office Opens in Fishtown

In a building that once housed an ancient tavern, the Obama campaign has opened one of its field offices on East Girard. This is the same block as Ekta and only a block from Sketch, raising the question: has Obama's appeal extended to local gentrification? According to Aislin Thompson, a local volunteer, the office has had 534 volunteers walk through the door since it opened. She supported Clinton in the primaries. Now, she admits that that fact and her conversion give her an advantage when calling. She says any rift between Hilaristas and Obamanos is overplayed. "The real difference is between McCain and Obama." She says. This Monday afternoon, the office was populated by her and two very nice staffers from out of the area. The focus of this location, and perhaps the entire field operation is voter registration.

Commercials I Hate!

Bayer Asparin for Coronary Health

The ad promotes taking Bayer Asparin to prevent heart attacks. There is an older middle-aged woman who says what is surely one of the most inane things ever: "I never thought I'd have a heart attack, but I did!" Really? You never thought you'd suffer from the most common form of death in America: heart disease? I could buy: "I didn't think I'd have a heart attack" or "I thought I had avoided the scourge or heart disease." But "I never thought" I'd have one? That's simple stupidity.

Liberty Mutual's Responsibility

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