Sophisticated Political Commentary of the Day

By Sean Carroll | October 5, 2008 5:09 pm

Via Greg Laden, apparently originating at the candidates as trains.

  • Townsend

    It’s apparently from a new meme on

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  • Adam Schilling

    Haha! This is great! Thanks!

  • Speedy Gonzalez

    ??… never seen these guys before, but I’m very interested in trains… isn’t number two from the bottom the “A” Train …?? :-]

  • Michael

    Speaking of train wrecks, here is what we have to look forward to over the next four weeks from the McCain campaign:

    “Americans need to ask themselves if they’ve ever befriended an unrepentant terrorist, or had a convicted felon help them buy their house — because those aren’t smears, those are true facts about Barack Obama.”

    Only four weeks left.

  • Mellonade

    Everday the daily kos takes a dump on Palin just like they did to Hillary.
    If Obama got half the scrutiny in the early days that Palin has we would not be here right now. democratic party = misogynist party. the unfair coverage IS the bias.
    obama said he has more foreign experience than hillary and mccain COMBINED because he lived in indonesia from 6-10 years old and traveled to pakistan in 1981. palin said alaska is next to russia. who got critcized with extreme prejudice?

    obama will take us over the cliff much faster on his high speed train.

  • Jon Claerbout

    Fannie and Freddie got us into this. And who did they brib^h^h^h^h lobby? Google will tell you. Ask Google for Fannie Freddie lobby list

  • Ellipsis

    I think it’s pretty clear that McCain/Palin, in fact, is this

  • Jim Harrison

    Fannie and Freddie have been around for a long time. They certainly could have been managed better over the last few years, but they weren’t the cause of the Bush/McCain crash of 2008. They didn’t buy up subprime mortgages, though they did get caught in the undertow when the under-regulated banks and brokerage houses that were directly responsible began to fold. Claerbout, like Mellonade, is simply trying to change the subject. I assume both of these worthies are mercenaries in the Republican troll army that will infest the Internet until after the election.

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  • David McMahon

    Yeah funny and I have to say that while I am planning on voting for Obama, this blog is not biased in the least. Freddie and Fannie did contribute to the problems, but a lot of people did. The Republicans want to be simplistic and blame Freddie and Fannie for all of the banking woes saying Congress practically demanded that they create the subprime mortgage scam, when the truth is alot of the big banks and financial firms jumped on the bandwagon with glee. The graphic here is ridiculously simplistic. That being said, there is plenty of blame to spread around, I think the bottom line is the time is right for some change. The Republicans screwed up big time-and had 8 years to do it. There was a great report on 60 minutes tonight about how they could have nailed Bin Laden, but didn’t do so. My question is why wasn’t the 82 airborne division going after Bin Laden instead of 10 guys from Delta force dressed up as Afghanis? Answer? Well if you want more of the same vote for McCain, if you want a different take on things vote for Obama.

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  • Eugene

    Just a heads up that the real credit for starting this goes to the madcap crowd at

    More classic examples there.

  • Big Vlad

    “The graphic here is ridiculously simplistic.”


  • Elliot

    Obama campaign is finally going after the Keating story and will tie McCain to the S and L collapse in a big way. I bet the debate tomorrow has some fireworks.


  • Speedy Gonzalez

    Ohh it’s not about trains, it’s about the candidates! Stupid silly me. Well, then my favorite is this one. The McCain-gadget is 100% Taliban-compatible and will therefore lead to victory!

    Haven’t figured out the Palin-gadget yet, but it’s probably a sort of secret weapon. Or maybe it’s just Pit Bull food, or maybe the latest lipstick technology?

  • Mellonade

    4/5 of the keating five were republican. mccain was completely exonerated in something that happened 20 years ago.
    obama has received more money from fannie and freddie in 3 years (1.1 million) than john mccain has from 1990-2008(18 years!!!)
    the top three benefactors from fannie and freddie are
    1. dodd (d)
    2. obama (d)
    3. kerry (d)
    so obama has received more money in 3 years than many senators who have been there for 10 or 20 years!
    yeah no scandal there.

    mccain in 2006:
    Statement by John McCain Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]: Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

    I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 1 90, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole. I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.”

    This legislation went nowhere, thanks to Barack Obama and other Democrats.

  • Mellonade

    sorry i meant to say 4/5 were democrat not republican!

  • Speedy Gonzalez

    Hey Melonade, this is all overkill since the introduction of the 100% Taliban-compatible McCain-gadget. The battle is over! :)

  • Sean

    Eugene, thanks; I’ll fix it.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    obama said he has more foreign experience than hillary and mccain COMBINED because he lived in indonesia from 6-10 years old and traveled to pakistan in 1981. palin said alaska is next to russia. who got critcized with extreme prejudice?

    And justly so. Alaska is next to Russia and Canada. But has Palin ever even wandered over the border? She says there is a place in Alaska from which you can see Russia. Pathetic in its own right, but even more dishonest in that she has never been there. Palin says Alaska and Russia have trade missions. Pathetic in its own right, but an outright lie in that Palin has never participated in any such trade mission in either direction. Palin talks about “Putin rearing his head” as Russian jets cross into U.S. air space. And what was her involvement? Was she flying one of the interceptors herself? Or setting intercept policy? Just how does this constitute foreign experience for Palin? Just like Palin’s claims on the Bridge to Nowhere, and her opposition to earmarks, and her fiscal responsibility, experience SHE CLAIMS to possess turns out to be an utter fabrication at odds with bare fact.

    No one has denied that Obama actually travelled and lived in the places he listed. Or are you prepared to do so now?

  • Elliot Tarabour


    Since you are so well versed in McCain’s history can you explain the fact that Keating donated over 100K to McCain for his first congressional campaign, McCain flew on Keating’s private plane down to their Carribean family retreat, and Cindy McCain invested over 300K in a land deal with Keating?

    Also for full disclosure, can you let us know whether your sudden appearance on this is site is at the direction or suggestion of the McCain/Palin campaign who is actively encouraging their supporters to go out to and deliver their “talking points” to the world?

    I will state for the record that I have no direct or indirect association with the Obama campaign.


  • yo

    hellow mellonade,
    quick google of
    “Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005”
    implies it died in (Republican controlled) committee.
    Not sure how you tie Obama to that let alone ‘Other Democrats’

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  • Speedy Gonzalez

    There’s a press release from the Republican Party saying that they are not going to take this kind of train harassment anymore. To put an end to all this nonsense, they are going to give McCain a brand-new-topnotch-next-generation-train.


    This new monster-train seems to be able to take McCain abroad, so let’s talk a little about foreign experience: Okay, Palin are able to see Russia over Bering Strait, but what about the old man?

    I’m serious worried. He doesn’t know that Spain is a country in Europe, and that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is the Prime Minister in Spain. He thinks this is all Latin-American stuff? Mamma mia, listen to this!

  • Lawrence B. Crowell

    I am somewhat disposed to the old Baldwin steam engines. The Durango-Silverton railroad trip is a lot of fun. But for an analogue with the modern world this is about spot on. The Thomas Tank engine probably has lead paint as well.

    L. C.

  • abelian

    It bothers me how people especially the journalists, scholars and satirists concentrate their criticism to one side and give the other side a blank check..

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  • Erin

    Mellonade, regarding your commentary on sexism towards Palin, Sarah Palin is the biggest misogynist I’ve ever seen. Just because you both have vaginas, are you really too stupid to see that she wants to take away all of your rights? Idiot!…

  • Sili

    So if Obama is the LHC and Biden the FermiLab, what’ll the others be?

  • Speedy Gonzalez

    Why don’t we hire them as hydrogen at LHC? 😀


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About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] .


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