Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
August 10, 2012 - August 3, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Epiphany Ship

Just a fragment. (Think Kublai Khan.) But the last one from the Shuteye Train.
Seemed like the right time for it. I mean, the ship is sailing, isn't it? Aye aye.

The fans hum inside the CPU.
2  Reedy fingers the keys of the parallaxophone, softly, softly.
3  Loco Dantes murmurs into the mouthpiece of the macrophone.
4  Joe Kay plays the intro on plot synthesizer, granting a paragraph or two of recognition to the sponsors of this work, and then Loco signals for the writing to begin.
5  All around him he hears the dry clicking of keyboards, the ominous rattle of the Shuteye Train transporting a cargo of raw words to the Stylizer, where the software will ready them for the printer, which waits silently down the line, its paper-wheels ready to roll on Loco’s command to execute.
6  Inside our cage, the watchers are watching. Overhead, the fluorescent panels drench us with dead light. Thus the scene of departure, last station on our journey through the boomer brain.
7  But are we ready? Are we strong? How much coal for the boiler fires? How much steam for the Shuteye Train?
8  We cannot say.
9  We do not know. Our fires are burning, but burning low. We have no answers anymore.
10  Last call, last chance for the Shuteye Train.

Still, we begin. In the City of Brotherly Love, on South Street, there were bands.
2  Punks they were, who jeered at things they did not understand.
3  Fools and worse, they dared to soil blank paper with the contents of their minds. Small minds that could not read or write between the lines.
4  Tiny minds.
5  Minds so minuscule that one single solitary ounce of rage, once entered in, filled them to the brim and overflowed. Flash flood of ink on South Street.
6  What profit and what cost?
7  St. Nuke has floated, burning, out to sea.
8  The Spraycans are emptied and gone.
9  Ripp Starr is stiff, autopsied, in the ground.
10  Johnny Dodge has thrown a rod, been sent to Studebaker land.
11  And even Alice, once our queen, is closed inside her wall of thorn.

But we are the ones who write with guns, and there was once a regular guy.
2  He was like you, his name was Steve, and he did his own thing for a while.
3  We knew him from when, from his college days, when his ideals were a thing to behold.
4  And he had this girl, then went to law school, and almost acquired a bride.
5  But shammadamma, the Shuteye Train, we crashed his wedding day.
6  It was shammadamma, shootabooma, BLAMMADAMMA EXECUTE
7  C00000010  1000001  0010101  0010101  0100101  1001001  0100001  1010101  0010101  1010001  0000010  1001001  1011001  0000101  0011001  1010001  1011001  1010001  0111001  0010101  1010001  0010001  0000010  0000101  0100101  1010001  1100101  1100101  0000010  0100101  1010001  0010101  1010101  0100101  0111001  0000010

]  We knew a guy, a regular type guy, but he died on his wedding day.
8  Dammasham0000101  0100101  1111001  1100001  1010001  1100101  1100101  1001001  0111001  1110001  0000010  0010001  1010001  0011001  1000001  1001101  0000010  0000101  0011001  1010001  1000001  1100101  1010001  0000010  1110101  1000001  1001001  0010101  0000010

]a gray ka flew in the midnight sky, dreaming aloud of Eden.
9  Too much pain, too much fear0000101  0011001  1010001  1000001  1100101  1010001  0000010  1110101  1000001  1001001  0010101  0000010
]not enough the Shuteye Train. We are not nearly enough, only a punk writer band stranded in mid-story.
10  What do we know, unprompted, of history and pivotal epochs in our blind declining age? Like dying cancer patients, we are suspended above fatality by a frail man-made network0000101  0100101  1111001  1100001  1010001  1100101  1100101  1001001  0111001  1110001  0000010  01111001  1111001  1110101  0000010 

]and disquieting dreams.
11  In the lonely time we turn toward the source. But God has no legs and1100001  1000001  0000010  1111001  0110101  1010001  0100101  0100101  1001001  0010001  1010001  0000010  1001001  0111001  0000010  1010001  0110001  0110001  1010001  1100001  0010101  0000010  1110101  0001001  1111001  0000010  1000001  0100101  1010001  0000010  1110101  1010001  0000010  0010101  0001001  1010001  0000010  1100101  0101001  1010101  0010101Who are we, the Shuteye Train?

Hide at night and dread our banner. Sue for peace in a lowly stammer.
2  The Shuteye Train, the Shuteye Train, you’ll try and die in the Shuteye Train.
3  Be thou boomer, take a number. Count your days then die forever.
4  Falling now be we the hammer, crushing blows, yes, we deliver.
5  We deliver, we deflower, we demember defutured terror.
6  Our tracks abide. Our tracks abut the abyssal ever. Our tracks abridge the Nihil River.
7  Who are we the Shuteye Train? We are the Disaborted,
                     Unburied children
                           Of the murdered
                                 Yet to be.
                      We’re the rage
            And rape of never. We’re the Word and War for Ever 1111001  1010101  0010101  0000010 1111001  1010101  0010101  1111001  1010101  0010101  0000010Out 1111001 0110001Out out 0010101  0001001  1010001  0000010  0100001  0011001  1010101  1010001Out of the blue0100001  0011001  1111001  1111001  0010001  1001101  0000010  0110001  1010101  1100001  1101001  1001001  0111001  1110001  0000010  0010001  1000001  0100101  1101001  0111001  1010001  1100101  1100101  0000010  1001001  0000010  1100001  1111001  1111001  1011001  1010001  0000010Out of the blue bloody fucking darkness of your minds I come, Doctor Dream, to scream the fury of the ages in your ears.
8  No more games. And no more rules: I hereby break them all, all the arid husks of how it was, how it goes, and how it sounds.
9  What remains? Endings only, the resolution of all our piddling plots, our Cro Magnon epilogue, endings, endings.

It is an undead visitor; he stands above the scene.
2  He speaks in stone, he stands alone, he looks to thee and thee.
3  “Be not afraid,” they long to hear, they beg him with their eyes.
4  He struts on stage, he is the star, the Shuteye Train plays on.
5  Once there was a wedding, and hundreds came to watch. A silver bride, an iron groom, and parents made of chrome.
6  And Steve was there in formal clothes, he smiled at all his friends.
7  His friends were there, they smiled at him, and the priest he smiled at God.
8  The bride was there, she also smiled, how happy we all are!
9  Let’s count our blessings one by one, let’s hope they never end.
10  For stocks and bonds and birth control, and Stuttgart’s pride and joy;
11  For parents’ love and dimming eyes, and racketballing on the sly;
12  And fondu pots, and Bella’s hat, and Ivy League degrees;
13  For the Chesapeake, Nantucket Sound, and hysterectomies;
14  For savoir faire and chic and balls, and the death of Janis J.,
15  For Diet Pepsi, coke, and grass,
16  For satin sheets, and PBS, and singles bars,, and Krugerrands and Vogue and spas and Chevy Chase,
17  For jogging shoes, for credit cards,
18  For these and so much more, we thank you Lord, our God most high, our grantor and our friend.
19  Thus called, I come.
20  Your whispers fill this house, a mist of apprehension. Who, what, why is this visitation?
21  If you would ask, then ask aloud. I have the answers.

When a dead man was gunned down, his departing gray ka was devoured by the Raptor Ka of Doctor Dream, who took the bleeding bullet-riddled body for his own.
2  The dead man was Steve, but who is Doctor Dream?
3  It was on Steve’s wedding day that the gunmen came,
4  Through the portals of the ivy-covered church, up the long aisle, between pews that smelled of varnish and velvet, the gunmen came like doggerel justice.
5  They rhymed wed with lead and lead with red, and red with dead, and when they had done, Steve’s corpse stared at them with open, sightless eyes, and the bride turned as white as her wedding dress.
6  The corpse was Steve’s, but to whom did the guns report?
7  Ask the guns; they speak straight to the human heart.

Blip           blip       blip    blip  blip whump whump whump whUMP WHUMP WHUMP WHUMP WHUMP!!!!!!!!
2  Oh God. The heart of Boz.
4  After days, weeks, months of the anti-whumping silence of decay, Boz’s heart is beating again.
5  What cold hand is that? That squeezes so tight around my heart, rhythmically forcing the congealed black blood to flow, blood to the brain and tongue of Boz?
6  I am asked to remember death, remember death to you, and you to death. But how?
7  WHUMP WHUMP. We are become a marionette for death, his hand in our back, calling the tune. How does it go?
8  Remembering.
9  The exodus from South Street.
10  Boz was there to write his epilogue.
11  Some Alice Hate had turned his head.
12  Celia was cold—warm, gentle, and cold.
13  He had come from the coven in Chestnut Hill.
14  Gloria’s little boy, iced in enlightenment, would never grow. He looked at Boz from such a distance. 
15 Already he could read and fashion a likeness in pale clay, but he had no cowboy hat. He called Celia ‘Celia,’ Sara ‘Sara,’ and his mother ‘Gloria.’
16  “I am Boz Baker, Celia’s husband.”
17  “How do you do?”
18  Good question. The punks were leaving, retreating across the river into the wastes and marshes of Jersey. Had anyone told the boy of this?
19  They packed their gear in vans and what they could not carry they left behind. Piles of dirty clothes, broken parallaxophones, a dusty CRT, now refuse in the street. The chaotic torpor of the conquered in flight is always the same.
20  But you, my son, have Sara to sing to you of other worlds, and why should I intrude? Sara’s is the victory song, the iron lullabye. “What we conceive is ours to keep. Go to sleep, child, go to sleep. We the shepherd, you the sheep, go to sleep, child, sound asleep.”
21  Alice Hate, Alice Hate. I hate you, I love you, Alice Hate.
22  When St. Nuke died, I thought you knew. Fashions change, fads fade, all promises come finally unglued. There was never any real connection. The data bases hid their faces, and poor dead Nuke was fooled by lies.
23  Boy, let me tell you a story, one true story before you sleep. A man named Boz once loved a girl, who loved a man who lived a lie. And Boz was a genius, a burning star, who looked down on it all from his place in the sky.
24  Who lived the lie?
25  Boz, are you wandering?
26  No. Just remembering. All are present, after all. A reminiscence among friends need not be linear; the missing pieces are in our hearts, footnoted in our heads. Only the boy’s not in the know, but he is not allowed, will never be.
27  Nuke aspired but took the fall. The overreacher always pays a price.
28  And Boz paid too, too much too soon, too great a price.
29  The exodus was underway. He had come from the coven to record the end.
30  We thought the Shuteye Train had slipped its rails.
31  Loco was a corpse in Camden, a raving deadman with an Uzzi in his mouth.
32  Punk was a bitter cancelled masquerade, the last laugh an uptown echo that smacked the heels of the fleeing throngs, and even Alice a refugee, a grieving female leaving town.
33  Boz had his notebook out, Cross pen in hand.
34  The vans went by, he counted them, a faithful witness to the end.
35  And then it was that Johnny Dodge—a rumbling howl, 440 nightmares coming true, broken bones, a burst of light outside the final dying scream of Boz.

2  The genius rises on his scream of pain.
3  A brown landscape somewhere below.
4  What altitude can be purchased with so much pain?
5  Rooftops and rooftops and others contending for space.
6 The weight of memories. Mouths open to let them out, this excess baggage, dreadful burdens.
7  Sing.
8  Of what?
9  Sing.
10  The song of Boz?
11  Sing.

Mommy, make it right.
2  It was all her fault. She pushed me down the stairs. She made it up about me hurting her. Please don’t tell Daddy, make it right.
3  A pack of cigarettes in college, was I ever suave, and she fell for my mind, my sterling ideals. We drove home in my roadster, I had been published, and all the clouds looked just like me.
4  I grew up in the war, our house was full of antiques, brown depths of fabulous wood, FDR came on the radio, the world was all going to be just great.
5  Swimming at Cape Cod, I never doubted it. I had a convertible that sparkled on shore, no epaulets, and who can do with words what I can?
6  Her breasts are all mine, in my hands under water, a cool firmness offered up to me for the taking.
7  I have interviewed the rich and famous, and I know the score on everything.
8  I have accumulated evidence, photographs of Auschwitz and Hiroshima, it was never my fault, she pushed me down the stairs, and if you tell Daddy, tell him my side too.
9  We rented a house in Stamford and it was all a Cheever story, the smell of woodsmoke was in our nostrils and theirs too, we were doing what there was to do.  There is bridge to play, and David and Marge sat in our poolhouse the night their son died in Viet Nam.
10  David is a broker, a former champion at squash, and I have slept with Marge, but only once and only for spite, and no one ever knew.
11  She has a thin gold chain around her neck that teases the upper slopes of her...
12  ...but have you ever seen the list of political prisoners in Nicaragua? I helped bring that bastard down, my articles in half a dozen magazines got in amongst the smell of cut grass and old leather and undid the apathy, or so I’m told.
13  And David wept for his son, and what were we to tell him about the world, our criminal race?
14  My father was in the war, his father too, and now the wars are polished promises that live underground, waiting to come true.
15  I used to love Sir Walter Scott and wanted to be Ivanhoe. But I got Celia instead of Rebecca, and there was never quite that fire in her eyes of the desperate longing aching love I had felt in my dreams.
16  She is crisp in the undoing of her blouse, but she remembers the time and when I have to catch my plane.
17  I stayed up all night and drank bad coffee and plugged my book to help them raise money for PBS, I covered the riots in Chicago, Woodstock, I took acid to bridge the generation gap, I have my mother in a nursing home, and her eyes light up at the sight of me, but who I am she does not quite recall. I give her a new bathrobe she will not wear, books she cannot read, a television she cannot watch, her hands are twisted with arthritis, and why shouldn't David's son have died in Viet Nam rather than her or me like this?
18  I get big advances, checks with lots of zeroes before I ever write a word. They know my acumen, my gift for paradox. I can pose the questions that have no answers.
19  I majored in history in a world of ivy and ambition, and between ivy and Iwo there is no connection but the punchline of some cruel joke.
20  In Stamford the pool is filling up with clean blue water, and across the world the world is ending in some conference room, rice paddy, or terrorist attack.
21  Jesus urinated in the sand two thousand years ago, today I do the same in porcelain, then catch a plane for Philadelphia, where they will push me down the stairs.
22  I have smelled rain on the breezes of spring, the tarmac of a runway in Saigon, and now the cheese steaks and booze of South Street.
23  I had at one time a fantasy of being Ivanhoe, but I learned to hunt bounty instead. They hang the posters—Wanted for Trying to Save the World—and I bring them back, alive or dead to a world that can’t be saved.
24  Oh Mommy, Mommy, they’ve done to your son, who’s been to Paris and Rodeo Drive, Damascus and Tel Aviv, the Kremlin and the Pentagon.
25  Make her love me, there’s nothing else, I never hurt her, only wanted that aching longing...
26  Sing, Sing, Sing.
27  And how could I have dreamed of Doctor Dream, his rage and wrath on earth?
28  None could have known, none could have dreamed, none could have saved me from this pain.
29  And none will save you, for he has come to swallow up your souls.
30  Come from death, from the timeless war, from the dreadscape known as Kain,
31  Where I am now,
32    And will remain,
33    To sing this song of Boz,
34    As slave to your destroyer,
35    Doctor Dream.

It is an undead visitor; he turns the stones to glass.
2 This church his ship, the choir his helm, for the voyage he has planned.
3  The buttresses break loose, foundations breathe,
4  The rainbow air of possibility,
5  Divinity,
6  Epiphany.
7  The last ride has begun.

P.S. If you're at all curious, the names mentioned are also in the archives: Boz, St. Nuke, Johnny Dodge, Alice Hate, Ripp Starr, and Doctor Dream (Epistle Dedicatory). Most have works of their own. And there's more about South Street and Punk City too. There's more than one way to tell a story. Oh. The computer code is ASCII, something used by computer cavemen who actually knew how computers worked.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


How weepy you make me. There was never any
reason to fight after the Fall of France in 1941.

I didn't see anything definitively convincing in the comments, though everyone made points that were, uh, cogent. I deliberately put the quantitative burden on you so that I could discuss intangibles. Which go both ways. I recognize the threatening message of polls but I reserve some skepticism because I always hang up on them when they call, and they do call. I think the consistent weighting of polls toward Democrat respondents might indicate others like me are doing the same thing. That's not a dismissal. Just a gut feeling, and I've had wrong gut feelings before. Now for MY intangibles.

I predicted long ago that this would be the dirtiest presidential campaign in our lifetimes. And so it has proved to be. I'm thinking Obama's vaunted "likeability" is taking a hit. Who knows how big a hit? This Sunday, even the MSM put the screws to the Obama surrogates about Harry Reid's unsupported tax charges. Stephanopoulos of ABC News and Candy Crowley of CNN were both withering and persistent on the question of how much credence could be placed in Reid's claims and the White House's insistence on pretending they are not pulling the strings. Newest poll on likeability. Newsflash on Obama-MSM relations: Obama hasn't answered a single question from the press in seven weeks. Any chance they're starting to feel like the loyal but neglected wife of a cad?

What all the commenters seem to be missing is that the VP choice is more opportunity for unforced error than any net gain. Rubio is this year's Palin. An incredibly attractive young candidate -- starpower plus -- who nevertheless is still too wet behind the ears -- inexperienced and more local than national in his political mien -- to withstand the mauling of an opposition determined to destroy the naive, innocent, or insuffiiciently innured to brass knuckle politics. Why the other Hail Mary candidates suck too -- Condoleeza Rice and David Petraeus. They're acquainted with politics, but they're not politicians.  Lots of deer-in-the-headlights moments to come; count on it. The sensible choice, maybe the only good choice, is Bobby Jindal, a successful governor who isn't a boring white man, has been elected and reelected by heavily black constituencies, and who is three times smarter than Obama before the scrawny Indian dude has had his first cup of coffee in the morning. I heard him take the entire Obama administration apart in five minutes on the Laura Ingraham Show without so much as a dropped comma. Laura still wants Paul Ryan. Why? Just because. Because she has a thing for midwestern men with Eddie Munster haircuts? Because she keeps forgetting that we absolutely MUST have Ryan as the chairman of the Ways & Means Committee? And she's obviously forgotten that nobody's ever filmed a commercial of Jindal bumping old ladies off cliffs. Just because women are smart doesn't make them wise. If I had to guess, I'm thinking Romney will choose the wrong candidate. But there's still a chance he won't.

It's only the alphabet television networks who think conventions don't matter. They have a vested interest in that position, not politics but business. Expensive to cover, largely ceremonial, and one more loss of opportunity to put on new episodes of their latest smutty sitcoms. Everybody's fired up about the swing state polls showing Obama holding consistent leads. Can we deconstruct that situation just a little before we run screaming into the Enchanted Wood? Conservatives generally are near-hysterical about the Romney likeability deficit. They don't like him because he's not conservative enough for their taste. How they transfer this to a general personality halitosis that can't be overcome is absurd. When would likely voters, even swing state likely voters, have learned very much about Romney? I've been following this campaign since the initial godawful outcome in 2008 and even I couldn't watch more than token portions and high(low))lights of the Republican debates, a dozen supplicants smeared across two dozen stages. Pro forma bullshit. Like all such sparring matches -- akin to heats in Olympic swimming and track and field -- the goal is not so much to win as to make sure you're in the field for the next round. Then come the attack ads by a desperate incumbent who can't afford to talk about his own record. Attacks launched by a candidate universally stipulated (without evidence) to be likeable. What do you do? Launch into pointlessly expensive and futile "did not," "did too," "did not," "did too" exchanges? Or hold instead? "H-o-o-o-o-ld!!!"

[I love it when commenters cite Scottish military defeats as signs of solidarity with my roots. Even Obama is smitten by their sado-masochistic game that isn't a game but an archetype of life itself. 104 rounds worth. You're not competing against the others; you're competing against the course.  While his mind may be in thrall to the authoritarian pretensions of Ramadan and African Liberation Theology, his heart belongs to the lowdown human truths of golf. Maybe the most promising thing we know about him. You play, lose more often than you win, and there's no cheat that makes you anything but less. Why Michelle always looks like she's sucking on a lemon. Would she kick a ball to a better lie? That's her philosophy entire.]

Where were we? The conventions. They matter. The Democrats will have to tell lies. About the state of the economy, turning the corner that's still up around the bend, saving jobs that no longer exist, preventing foreclosures that weren't prevented, etc. The importance of punishing the rich except for the huge Obama bundlers on Wall Street and in Hollywood. The Romneyites can simply show us a guy who looks anything but ruthless, mean, and indifferent. The inside the beltway Republicans scoff at the idea of the convention as a way of "introducing Mitt Romney." But that's what it will be. NBC's Olympic coverage went out of its way to make the London 2012 equestrian coverage about Ann Romney's horse. To the detriment of their purpose, I think. It was the English who won the gold medal in Team Dressage, high-hatting the Americans in their usual aristocratic fashion. In London, Ann Romney and her over-exposed horse were an underdog. Which is precisely the Ann Romney people will see when she finally takes the podium to back her husband, show off her large fine family of sons and grandchildren, and a humble path of courage and persistence against physical ills the First Family has had no experience of.

We'll see. Maybe all the doomsayers swarming out of the closet are right. But you're guilty of hypocrisy. At best a showy bouquet tossed onto a coffin. At worst a cynical pose. When Lake talked hope, he wasn't giving you permission to glue a plastic figurine on your dashboards while you drove toward the nearest cliff. He was challenging you to fight for what you hope for. I'm thinking you just let him down. Big Time.

Monday, August 06, 2012


Prime Sociopath

The REAL Closer: Who's sexier? Helen Mirren by a landslide. No flirtation.
No aw shucks moments. She doesn't USE being a woman. She just IS one

. I hate being dumb. But I admit it when I am. I'm just irritated when my wife doesn't let me in on the joke that proves how dumb I am before I have to fall on the sword in public. Oh well. Spectacular dumb leads to cool posts. Like this one. What my wife always had in mind.

The biggest hit ever in cable TV series, The Closer, has one, maybe two episodes left. We've watched religiously. Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson of the LAPD is a selfish narcissistic control freak who wrings confessions from murderers with the glee of a vampire extracting blood. She uses EVERYBODY, including her FBI husband, her family, her friends and former intimates, in the pursuit of one goal. Conquering murderers. She also likes chocolate. Which gives her more of an orgasm than her straitlaced husband seems capable of doing.

Fun show? You bet. For maybe three years but not seven.. (They all get old, don't they? Just imagine how good we could be if we learned from the Brits about  SHORT series.)  Brenda will do anything other than let a malefactor look up her skirt to secure evidence needed for conviction. She exacts her own justice. She releases murderers into communities guaranteed to kill them. In that interrogation room she will do, say, be anything necessary to get what she wants. If it were a Brit show, we'd gotten to look up her skirt at least once. But it wouldn't always be a Chanel skirt.

Why I'm dumb. It's all been done before. It always was a Brit show. All this time I've been watching The Closer with my wife, she withheld from me that it was a blind stone STEAL from Helen Mirren's Prime Suspect. Showing finally on Netflix now. Even when a U.S. TV network did 12 episodes of an obvious rip-off called, uh, Prime Suspect, she didn't tell me. (I liked the show. All women, including my wife, hated Maria Bello's hat. I loved the hat. End of show.) But now I've seen the mother font. Helen Mirren. Everything but the specific geographical context is a rip-off.  Not just male resistance

Let me be clear, as our president would say. Brenda Leigh Johnson and (Prime Suspect's} Jane Tennison are pretty much the same person. They can be soft and sweet and friendly, but only when what they're after is a confession. They sob occasionally, eat constantly, and just don't give a rat's ass about anyone else. They doll up like movie stars before they enter the interrogation room. Men above them in the hierarchy consistently underestimate their awareness of old boy network politics. Men have no prioblem with being sorta kinda psychopaths. It's only news, and drama, when women show they can do it too.

For a woman in corporate America, Jane and Brenda are what men see in Batman. The proof is MY wife. She's Jane and Brenda when she needs to be, But without their unscrupulousness. She can bring down her fist like Nanny McPhee in a top management meeting and make the world quake. If she says "No," the answer is really no. But she's also been the inspiration for male executives who've achieved great things and still quiver in fear at her disapproval. Upshot? Still not a member of the club, not always welcome and rarely invited.  What are they afraid of? Not her ruthlessness. Her moral fiber. So. Much. Stronger.

In my next life, I'm going to kick some ass on this subject.

Your Turn

So Lake has you all hoped up. Good.  Hope your way out of this one. I'll print the best one:

In other words, Obama can lose the big Eastern four—Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida: all of ’em!—and still be reelected.

And barring some huge cataclysm, he’s not losing all four of those states. If he wins even one—say Virginia, the smallest of the four—then Romney has to win Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire; all possible, certainly, but all states where he has been behind, narrowly but consistently, for weeks or months.

The list of states where Obama holds that narrow but consistent lead is long: Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire. Michigan and Wisconsin are no longer really narrow. Florida is more or less a dead heat. The bottom line is that of the dozen or so key swing states, Romney leads only in one: North Carolina. And that lead developed only over the summer. We’ll see whether the Democrats’ decision to convene in Charlotte has any impact on Romney’s three-point margin.

Can't come in here cooing like Pollyanna and not have to pay any dues. Hope has to be earned not simply whooshed like a goddam balloon.

No points for rah rah. Just warning you. Better be arguing numbers, states, electoral college, etc.

Or. I will. Dance. On your heads.

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