Friday, October 31, 2008

Sometimes a noose is just a noose.

Here we go again. Two Kentuckians face some kind of criminal charges for hanging Barak Obama in effigy. They claim it was in response to a California hanging of a straw Palin. Thank you MSM for inventing a symbol we didn't need.

Right down the street from me, there is something in a white sheet hanging from a basketball hoop by a noose. It's Halloween. Fortunately for them, its race is indeterminate, all ghosts being white as far as I know.

Seeing that not long ago, criminals of all sorts were hanged by the US government and seeing that the most treasured symbol in these United states is a Roman torture implement upon which people were hanged, I demand that the invented symbolism of certain knots be declared null and void. If it's legal to say "hang him" it's legal to hang a bed sheet stuffed with straw regardless of whose name is on it and particularly on Halloween. Jesus has been hanged in effigy for at least 1700 years and I'm fully in support of our right to blow off steam by hanging politicians of every variety in a symbolic way without being accused of advocating hanging them in person.

Is it ridiculous that it's the noose we obsess about and not the crime? Is it ridiculous that it's OK to burn a straw man, blow him up, throw him off a cliff, but not to hang him if and only if the scarecrow represents a black person?

Damned right it is.

Joe the Maoist

I picked up the clip below at A Silent Cacophony, one of my regular reads. Looking for Joe the Plumber in the crowd, John the Candidate tells the audience to stand up because they're all Joe the Plumber. I'm sure the man with umpteen houses and cars and a private jet wishes it were so. I'm sure the Man who has never had a private sector job, much less a blue collar trade, would like us to think of him as a man of the people, a Maoist hero.

The idea of the wise peasant, the log cabin born leader is nothing new and it's typically American, but it's also a central mythology of Marxism. We remember Mao Zedong's cultural revolution during which the professional, academic and educated classes were all but exterminated in favor of leadership by peasant farmers, coal miners and yes, plumbers. That one learns to swim by swimming was a Maoist cliche that implied that education was not only not necessary, but not desired. It took China a generation to begin to recover from the destruction.

The idea still lives here in America, despite our continuing obsession with Communism and Socialism. We still believe in the wise fool; in the wisdom of those untainted by information and intelligence and culture and we still believe in superstitious suspicion of all others. We still believe that Joe, whose name is Charles, and isn't a plumber and can't do basic arithmetic much less understand the tax codes, has the answers we need because he's one of us and not one of them. We're still yearning for the Worker's Paradise promised by Communism. We still admire Forrest Gump and marvel at his wisdom, but we still can't seem to differentiate between the people who exploit us by invoking our class identifications and snobberies and class prejudices, and people who actually serve our best interests. All we seem to see is the working class uniform and not the wolf wearing it.

Only in America would the accusation of Marxism arise from a plan to add 4% to the burden of the top 2% elite in the interest of recovering some of the debt we have incurred in making them rich. Only in America would the accusation of Socialism arise from restoring the top tax bracket we had under Reagan; the progressive structure advocated by Adam Smith and Teddy Roosevelt and that we have had during the most prosperous years of our history.

I could go on endlessly about the irony of invoking a worker's paradise and the bogeyman of Communism to sell economic feudalism, but odds are, if you've read this far, you don't need me to do that. It's the dumb people that can be fooled all of the time. It's Joe the Plumber and everyone who stood up when John the Rich Man asked them to who enjoy the flattery and the snobbery and the smug, stupid certainties sold to them by Sarah and the old man.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You're no Maverick

John McCain, you're no Maverick and you're certainly not the original. In fact the original Mavericks are so disgusted with you, at least two of them say they'll shoot. . . . the TV if they see your face on it again.

The Real Mavericks in fact are Liberals with affiliations going back to FDR and the New Deal, not to George Bush and the shady deal.

But don't take my word for it:

Monday, October 27, 2008

October surprise

The ATF has announced that they have broken up a white supremacist plot to kill Senator Obama along with over a hundred black people in a Tennessee murder spree.

Who knows how far they would have got, but who knows what other evil lurks in the hearts of such people, stoked up on campaign libel and "Joe sixpack bigotry."

No comment has been obtained from Palin headquarters yet, as to whether these are some of the "real Americans she's been talking about.

Military intelligence

The twenty first century. The military might want to shut it all down; in the name of freedom, of course.
"GPS cell phone service could be used by our adversaries for travel plans, surveillance and targeting,"
said a draft report by the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion, posted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). No more maps at gas stations folks, and I had better go back to using a sextant on my boat lest somebody hijacks it and uses it to terrorize the Florida coast.
"Twitter has also become a social activism tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences,"
Damn those vegetarian devils!
"Twitter is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives,"
and aren't those Republicans good at it?
"Terrorists could theoretically use Twitter social networking in the US as an operation tool,"
and the same thing goes for postcards and telephones and semaphore signals! Who knows what those boy scouts are talking about? Don't they have training camps or something like that?
"Terrorists may or may not be using voice-changing software but it should be of open source interest that online terrorist and/or terrorist enthusiasts are discussing it,"
said the Generals, and if the price of goats is being discussed in Pakistan, we need to get the flock out of there.

Blah, Blah, Blah

John McCain has begun to repeat the nuclear power song and dance he gave during the last debate. The song goes like this:
" We talked about nuclear power. Well, it has to be safe, environment, blah blah blah."
The word environment is a Pavlovian stimulus to Republicans and of course McCain is preaching only to the dogs at this point. "Enviros" are a favorite bogeyman because of course, "gimmie-gimmie, I want it for free" Republicans don't want to talk about the dangers inherent in nuclear power plants at all. They don't want to talk about the huge amount of time they take to build and to make them as safe as they are. When dogs, children and Republicans want something, they want it now, now, now and lying politicians like John McCain are always there to dangle it in from of them.

So what is McCain saying; the hell with safety? I want cheap energy no matter what the risk? I don't give a damn if New York or Chicago become the next Chernobyl? Yes, he is. That's just what he's saying and he's saying it in full knowledge that having it in the near future is out of the question.
"we've been sailing Navy ships around the world for 50 years with nuclear power plants on them."
Aye, aye Captain, but they're small, extraordinarily expensive and aren't spending most of their time parked in Phoenix or Denver or Little Rock. Unlike the expense of building and maintaining a Nimitz class carrier, the public sees the cost of electricity every month. New power plants are going to appear on your electric bill long before one Watt gets generated. To replace the oil we import today, we will need far more plants costing far more billions than High Roller John is willing to discuss.

Indeed there may have been accidents on Navy ships, despite what Mr. McCain says. Of course Three Mile Island comes to mind too. But hey - the hell with safety - we want nukes. We don't want to think about what to do with radioactive waste or what to do with obsolete plants after they have been shut down. Screw safety - Now, now, now!
"I have news for Senator Obama, nuclear power is safe, we ought to do it now."
So far it's been relatively safe but with nukes it's not only about odds, it's about the unbelievable consequences of an accident. A bad accident or terrorist incident can render large areas unlivable for thousands of years. That's why building them takes a lot of time and money. That's why we can't "do it now." McCain will likely be dead before nuclear power makes a dent in our importation of oil and he certainly won't have to worry about the long term consequences of his blah, blah, blah, arguments, will he?

Of course the cornerstone of this argument is essentially false. As with the offshore drilling argument and indeed most of the negative tirades we're hearing about Obama, it's based on what they say Obama said, and not necessarily what Obama actually said or meant. The arguments are so noisy just for this reason: to drown out reason, to obscure the facts. The fact is that to say we need to be careful when playing with dangerous things is not to oppose nuclear power. John is putting words in Barak's mouth only because he wants to win and doesn't care how much he lies to do it or how much his lies would cost you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Going down?

I used to dislike Peggy Noonan for many reasons, one of which was her vulgarization of American political commentary. That was back in the day when calling the Clinton entourage "buttheads" could still make me cringe; that was long before calling a major party candidate a traitor, terrorist, a hard core Marxist radical and an illegal alien who is plotting to kill his grandmother, could be the main thrust of a modern Presidential campaign.

I still despise her, but even she has begun to gag on the candidate she so ironically calls a "symptom and expression of a new vulgarisation of American politics" Sarah Palin. Such an uncharacteristic understatement.

While many important Republicans have been seen leaping for the life boats recently, the new Republican shibboleth may no longer be abortion, gay rights or snake oil tax policies, but loyalty to a losing candidate's last minute and desperate choice for Vice President, Sarah Palin. Those who cling to Sarah Palin and her increasingly insane and inane rants aren't likely to survive. If People like Limbaugh go down with the ship, so much the better. If the most rabid of them spend their waning years yearning for the return of Palin as messiah, I'll enjoy their discomfiture no end.

I don't use the word insane lightly, after all some of my best friends are a little odd at best, but what do we make of the Palin Proclamations about Obama taking away our houses by giving us a tax break, when Republican tax policies are taking them away as we speak? Obama will bring a "nightmare Communist State?" Collectivize all private property? Barak Obama, asserted the wild-eyed harpy would bring about an America "where the people are not free."

Sam Stein at the Huffington Post points out the interesting fact that McCain himself promoted the idea of a progressive tax before he got on the loony train and that Obama's proposed top brackets were the same as during the Clinton years when we had the most prosperous period in our history and erosions of personal freedom were nowhere near the Bush minimums.

Perhaps Palin herself is clinging to the anchor as the ship founders. The only possibility for her new role as the sacrificed savior or hidden Imam would be National Amnesia or a pandemic of contagious insanity. You never know, but the spectacle of the woman who has become the focus and rallying point of the ridiculous right, spitting and hissing like one of Pastor Muthee's witches tied to a stake can't be what John McCain or his party envisioned just a few weeks ago. It's certainly not what I envisioned and feared. Who might have thought the experienced, tested, elder statesman would choose a running mate that could destroy the Republican Party all by herself?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Thing from Alaska

If you've taken Economics 101, you've heard of Adam Smith and the "invisible hand," the principle that causes markets to be self regulating. It's usually considered to be a least a vertebrum in the backbone of conservative philosophy, but people (if we use the term loosely) like Sarah Palin apparently aren't aware of Smith or of principles of any kind even if she can see a library from her window.

Adam Smith, whom some consider to be the father of capitalism, thought it fair, right and proper that the wealthy should pay proportionately more in taxes than the less wealthy. By Sarah's dim light however, the father of Capitalism would be a socialist. In the crepuscular gloom of her perky little mind, any kind of tax is socialism: It's spreading the wealth around. Handing out government checks as a stimulus isn't socialism, but to reduce taxes is the same as to increase taxes because it is socialism if it's taxes. Ok, so you're not from a small town and probably not a real American so to make it perfectly clear, Obama's proposed tax cut for 95% of Americans is:
"the philosophy of government taking more, which is a misuse of the power to tax."
Got that? Less is more and more is less and together it's socialism. Spreading $600 checks around isn't socialism, because it's just giving (real) people back the money wealthier people paid in, but lowering taxes on nearly everybody is socialism because not only is it spreading money around, but a "massive tax increase."
"It leads to government moving into the role of taking care of you, and government and politicians and, kind of moving in as the other half of your family to make decisions for you."
It's really impossible to make any sense of this gibberish, other than to infer from it that she's opposed to funding anything the government does, opposed to having the government do anything but pay for her husband's basketball tickets and her feloniously padded expense account - opposed to government itself.

Who knows if it makes sense to her or to her audience or whether either of them care? It's a hate session. It would be less effective if it made sense. It's the kind of mockery that used to precede pogroms and purges and witch hunts and various slaughters of various innocents in the more primitive dream world Mad Sarah looks backward to as a guide. As pure chant-and-response shamanism, it seems to be as effective at eliciting shrill cries of "kill him" and "socialism" from the howling jackals as it is at scaring hell out of anyone rational. Indeed is anyone rational not terrified of allowing this simple minded sociopath anywhere near Washington?

Six degrees of suppuration

No, that's not a typo. Although it's fascinating to see how easy it is arbitrarily to relate one person to another and one person's principles to another person's totally unrelated opinions, it's disgusting to witness the misuse of that effect to slime, smear, slander and misrepresent without scruple.

The Gateway Pundit, for instance: a website that still as of this morning still blares the lurid, inflammatory but absolutely fake story about an Obama supporter beating and robbing a McCain supporter, is insisting on a very important "link" between Barak Obama, "Jew-hater" Rashid Khalidi, and "terrorist" Bill Ayers. A film clip exists, they say. The existence of a film clip is "confirmed" says the Blog; a clip that shows Obama engaged in Jew-bashing at a dinner in Khalidi's honor in 2003.

It must be true, right? Obama must hate Jews if someone at that dinner read a poem criticizing Israel. Indeed all the Israeli Jews must hate themselves if they oppose their government's policies - and of course all Jews are Israelis, right?

Well forgive me if I automatically discount the kind of article that is designed to be bantered back and forth between people trying hard to maintain a belief; the kind of article that insists a major newspaper is sitting on a scoop of monstrous proportions because they're "Liberal."

"Khalidi and the Obamas were great friends in Chicago and often shared meals together." The quote oozes like pus from a chancre. "By the way, Khalidi was also best friends with Bill Ayers."

continues the writer, suppurating like a bedsore.

It's tempting to correct the flawed grammar and very tempting to note that the entire diatribe hinges upon the crapulous credibility of the writer, but I really don't care about who Obama knows, about who may have said what at some dinner he attended, and I'm certainly not going to inflate this pastiche of fragments to the level of "confirmation" of anything but the desperate need to demonize the Democrat in order to disguise the failure of the Republican. It's the kind of need that prompts a writer to make a jewelled elephant out of a fake police report made by a mentally deranged young woman, painting it up like a cheap whore, decked out with gems of outrage, smug condemnations of the perfidy of Democrats in general and stepping in its own excrement.

That the people who write for this blog really care about whether someone hates Jews is remarkable, but then of course, Obama, by associating with Jew haters, partying with Jew haters, eating dinner with Jew haters, is also part of a great conspiracy against the US and everything this country holds dear - why should I disbelieve? It's all "confirmed!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The man who wasn't there

John McCain is at it again. Just a short while ago this evening he was whining to Wolf Blitzer and pleading to voters on CNN about how he's been tested. He did the same thing yesterday in Moon Township Pennsylvania. He took part in the Cuban Missile Crisis, says he. He was there, he said proudly. He sat in an airplane and waited for orders. He was 26 years old. 45 Year old John F. Kennedy was 27 years younger than McCain is today and had never faced anything like that in his life.

Of course the possibility of any superpower attempting to set up missile bases on our borders without being detected, is one of the least likely things the next president will have to face. The experience John McCain had in the military has nothing to do with the kind of situation the younger than Obama JFK managed to pull off without a shot being fired. The virtues that guided Kennedy had little to do with piloting a PT Boat or sitting in a cockpit or even the bombing of cities McCain was involved in several years afterward. Indeed, John McCain never had a leadership position that involved strategic or tactical decision making. In fact relative to all such things, he was never there.

Was a shooting war avoided because JFK had the kind of wild, uncontrollable temper McCain is noted for? No it wasn't. Did Kennedy employ the bluster, the whining, begging pleading and wheedling we see in McCain day after day? Calm, steady nerves and even perhaps luck played a bigger part and that's something McCain doesn't have and Barak Obama has. Who wouldn't rather play poker with twitching, grimacing, mumbling and blinking McCain than with the ice man?

But McCain is losing. We can see him sweat and we can hear him beg and plead and whine to us "his friends" about how a younger, vastly smarter and more unflappable man will invite a "test" from a Soviet Union that for John McCain will always be the enemy. For him, the answers to the questions of today will always be found in the ever less relevant struggles between the gigantic military forces of the 1960's. Those were the days before a global economy and before all kinds of things John never troubled himself to learn about. Not only was he never there, his "there" doesn't even exist any more.

The unbearable Liberalness of Truth

Remember when Sarah Palin asked just what it was that Vice Presidents do? Evidently, she's seen a post card of Washington so now she's qualified to tell us:
"[T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes."
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

According to a spokeswoman for Mrs. Palin, the statement was a reply to a third grader's question; as though the innocence of the listener justified a misstatement of Vice Presidential powers. In a year or so, that child will have to learn What the qualified Mrs. Palin has yet to learn: that the VP is not in charge of the Senate; unless of course the constitution has been by then abandoned in favor of "whatever the Party says."

Of course Palin, like George W. is fond of talking to us as though we were all in the third grade and none too bright. It's easier to do than to appear intelligent and it appeals to those who read and think at that level and it's typical of many cult leaders. Listen to tapes of Jim Jones, for instance: he refers to his wife as "mother" and explains things like the need to drink the poison to his followers as though they were babies not old enough to know that the cyanide in the Flavor-Aid was for their own good because the Liberals were out to ruin them.

Perhaps that's an exaggeration, but I don't think so. The people who will readily believe that Palin can as VP, draft legislation, that she's as competent in world affairs as Zbigniew Brzezinski because she could, if she wanted to, but never has seen an inhabited arctic island; the people who will fight you to the death to defend their position that Obama is an Islamic terrorist: these people are cult members. You and I are the enemy and they are not stupid at all. It's just that the facts have a Liberal Bias.

Cross posted from The Swash Zone

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our Mutual Enemy.

I'm now convinced that this is the time. This is the time for all of us to come to the aid of our country, to stand up for civilization, for what is right and true; for our way of life, for our future, for our families, our homes and our fortune. This is my call to revolution.

The time to break the bonds imposed up us by an arrogant and assumed oppressor; a power that has made the truth its enemy, democracy its victim and the American people its hostage, is now. Indeed the time is now or the time will never be. Let us declare undying enmity toward Fox News.

Not to change the subject, but I have to ask "what do we know about Cindy McCain?" Not much really. Michelle Obama has been chopped up and re-assembled as a Terrorist, an opportunist, an elitist and many other silly things, but Cindy is an enigma. When the New York Times ran a long and somewhat sympathetic article about her and her unusual life with John, our mutual enemy, Fox News, decided without evidence that it was a "dirt Digging" article and opened the gates of hell in the direction of Barak Obama. Glenn Greenwald at Salon found it to be no more than
"just generally dissecting her private and emotional sphere for no apparent reason beyond idle voyeurism,"
but it's not partisan, he says. They did worse to the Clintons. That's true, but the idea that Presidents are entitled to secrecy when Republican is Fox policy, not the Liberal Press stereotype they peddle. She has become a public figure and thus has waived the right to privacy of a private citizen just as everyone does. "what do we know about Cindy" is as a legitimate question as is "what do we know about Sarah Palin, or Michelle Obama or the "first Dude" and his secessionist, anti-American "pals."

Because Mrs. McCain was said to have suffered from Migraines and took pills to ease the suffering, Fox News has decided that Barak Obama is a drug addicted criminal and has launched a crusade to find his "drug dealers" and search out anyone who may have bought "drugs" and hence can be associated with him. This is more than idle voyeurism, this is an attempt to twist the truth, to mold truth from the clay and animate it by blowing the breath of ignorance into its nostrils -- and for no reason other than to destroy anyone running against a Republican. Were this not obviously so, they would not have rolled their eyes and chanted Liberaliberal when George Bush's adult drug and alcohol problems, including a DUI conviction, was discussed.
"It is worth noting that you have not employed your investigative assets looking into Michelle Obama. You have not tried to find Barack Obama's drug dealer that he wrote about in his book"
said Fox and Friends. Oh really? The New York Times should inquire as to who passed Barry the joint at some party 25 years ago? Perhaps when Fox stops suggesting mob ties and terrorist ties of the Obamas; perhaps when they stop suggesting that his education was paid for by shadowy jihadists, that he was trained at terrorist training camps, that he supports the bombing of government property, that he's a disciple of Karl Marx and all the other foul things that issue from the anus of Fox - perhaps then.

Will we as patriotic Americans permit the quiet destruction of our country by the world's foremost propagator of terror, fear, hate and propaganda, or will we turn these bastards off? Will we sit idly by as associates, friends and others present Fox Facts as truth? Or will we do what we need to do to prevent our country from sinking into the cesspit from which nations never emerge whole?

Death to the Fox!

Cross posted from The Swash Zone

Monday, October 20, 2008

Insane McCain

If you've ever been to a turkey farm, you will have seen how one lone animal will begin gobbling and the rest will follow suit until the whole flock begins to sound like the American news media commenting on an election.

"Spread the wealth" seems to be the latest gobble ever since John McCain, in his desperation, attempted to conflate the Obama tax policy, which hardly differs from what we've had since the beginning of income taxes in America, with socialism. It's not much more of an idiotic redefinition than is typical of the 2008 campaign rhetoric which has it that a hundred year occupation of a foreign country is a "victory" and accomplishing the goal of regime change and democracy is "surrender." Indeed the trickle down theory is little more than a scenario in which people the government helps to get rich then redistribute a small part of it by spending.

In St. Charles Missouri this weekend, John McCain attempted to show the show me state that lifting some of the burden from the struggling classes is Socialism. Senator Martinez from Florida compared Obama's tax plan to that of Fidel Castro and the chorus of boos from their gobbling audiences is not directed at the dishonest and sometimes demented charges or the turkeys who make them, but at anyone outside the circle of the tribe by virtue of sanity, education, honesty or intelligence: particularly intelligence. The is no idea too stupid, too false, to demented that the tribe will not dance around the fire and scream "kill him!"

It there any charge quite as incredible as insisting that presidents like Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan must have been socialists who wanted to redistribute the wealth by not giving the kind of tax breaks to the top 5% that George Bush did and that John McCain wants to continue and extend? We have never had a bigger and bigger spending government than we have now and McCain has no plan to change that that could pass a second grade arithmetic teacher's scrutiny. He has hot button topics like earmarks, and socialism and spreading the wealth, but the rest is only "trust me my friends."

"Our opponent's plan is just more big government, and John and I think that that is the problem, not the solution," said the gobbler in the glasses "Instead of taking your hard-earned money and spreading your wealth, we want to spread opportunity so people like you and Joe the plumber can create new wealth."

Of course it's not more big government by any measure. It's a return to the time before George Bush's borrow, bloat and spend policies.

What's the Palin plan? Give it to the rich and let it trickle down. Gobble, gobble, gobble. What's the plan? borrow and spend and put the burden of all that debt on people like you and me and Joe the plumber and our children and grandchildren, and how do we sell it? We lie about palling around with terrorists, we call Obama an elitist Arab Muslim Terrorist, who conspires with Vietnam War protesters, who is a Chicago Machine politician with no experience, whose house was paid for by gangsters, who reads books by terrorists and whose education was paid for by Pakistani Fundamentalists and who isn't even an American. Did I mention that he's black?

At this point and regardless of who wins, I'm ashamed to be part of this. If Obama wins, the country has been so damaged already and will be filled with a large minority who think he's the devil, the future is so dim my old eyes can't see anything but gloom.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Down the drain

Maybe we shouldn't have been wasting our time last night, listening to McCain and Obama accusing each other of being big spenders when we should have gone straight to the one expert who seems to agree with John's tax proposal. I don't mean some PhD economist or tax law expert or even a CPA; I'm talking of course, about Joe the Plumber, the fellow whose concerns about Obama's tax proposal has made him one of the most well known men -- and certainly the best known plumber on the planet at the moment. If that notoriety alone doesn't translate into financial success for Joe, it will be only because he'd rather not be in a higher tax bracket.

According to Joe Wurtzelberger, a progressive tax structure is Robin Hood socialism and John McCain seems to agree. I particularly liked his oily sneer when he repeated his "spread the wealth around" formula, but I wonder how that meshes with the spreading around of wealth inherent in supply side economics. It's only the direction of the trickle that differs after all, not the redistribution.

Of course Joe seems to have misunderstand what the differences are, and who can blame him? Like all of us he's been bombarded with ugly stereotypes of tax and spend liberals all his life and to be fair, it's complicated, but Joe is wrong. If he buys a business that grosses more than $250,000, he will not be propelled into a higher tax bracket by that fact alone. Surely Joe understands the difference between gross and net and knows about all the expenses and other deductions available. It's very unlikely that the business would net that much and therefore be subject to a tax increase of any kind. It's not very nice of his "Buddy" John not to have explained that to his "best buddy."

For one thing Obama's plan offers additional benefits like a tax credit for new employees and the elimination of Capital Gains for small businesses. Even if the business is wildly successful, and with all this notoriety, it may well be, the increase would be 3%. He would be better off in Obama's America than he would have been in Ronald Reagan's or John McCain's.

Very much to Mr. Wurtzelbacher's credit, he's not endorsing anyone yet. After all, his future and my future depend on a lot more than a 3% potential tax hike that's very unlikely to affect him. A new and deep recession may make it all moot if McCain's leadership is not much better than George Bush's.

All in all, the scenario is not what Joe fears it would be, it is not what John McCain misrepresents it to be and it's very very far from anything one could honestly describe as "spreading the wealth around" even if it's said without the squint and sneer and rubbing of hands. But then we're talking about John McCain's claims about his tax policy and not about honesty, and to quote another plumber and funny guy I used to know - that shit don't flush.

Let him have one?

Although all indications are that the vast majority of Americans thought Barak Obama "won" last night's conversation, the howling of the media this morning seems to be about the whining comment McCain made: "I am not George Bush." Is this an effort to allow McCain to leave with some small measure of undeserved dignity?

In the interest of that old "fair and balanced" shell game I guess they have to show that he didn't come across as an incoherent, double-talking, sneering and condescending Bush clone. He did however, and in contrast with polls of professional pundits who listen to and repeat what other professional pundits repeat, the public seems to agree. CNN's unscientific poll shows that about 80% of respondents did not think McCain won, but the "scientific" polls seem restricted to those still, after all this time undecided and not to the voters in general. I can't help thinking there's something a bit wrong with someone unable to make up their mind after almost two years.

So far this morning, all I'm reading are rubber stamp repeats of the "I am not George Bush" line and nothing of the embarrassing (for McCain) reiteration of "he's going to fine you" after it was explained that he would not and the nauseating repetition of the "there's more we need to know about your relationship with Ayers' red herring after that stinker was put thoroughly in its grave. There are no more unanswered questions John, no matter how often you ask the same damn thing. No, Obama didn't say that, but I wish he had.

McCain repeated his rehearsed points over and over and it was often obvious that he wasn't really listening to the answers and that he had no idea what the public's view of his and Palin's mean, vicious accusations might be.

My biggest disappointments of the evening were that McCain seemed too often to have the last, and often dishonest word; that Obama did not point out the continuing "trickle down" nature of McCain's proposals that are so much like the Bush standard, that Obama did not bring up William Timmons and tell us "we need to know more." I wish Obama would have asked him why he kept repeating that chestnut about fines when it was patently a false claim. I wish a lot of things, actually. I wish sanity and honesty weren't so rare in this country, but all in all, I saw McCain as the defendant here, a defendant trying to talk his way around the evidence by postulating unlikely explanations of how his fingerprints were all over the crime scene.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

McCain and the other Hussein

A commenter yesterday mentioned that he'd like to see Obama go for McCain's jugular. I cautiously disagreed because the polls all seem to show that McCain is suffering a backlash for the irresponsible rabble rousing attack ads he and his "sorcerer's apprentice" are known for. "Responsible" is in fact what most voters look for in a president and particularly after 8 years of the buck stopping under the White House rug. But, perhaps I should reconsider.

Of course many voters know about McCain's associations and perhaps one affair with lobbyists; lobbyists for Wall Street entities like Freddie Mac, the Military junta in Burma and the odd African dictator. They've seen how he denies this in the face of proof. I have to confess I would like to see his makeup begin to run with sweat if Obama were to bring up William Timmons, the professional Washington lobbyist he's named to head his transition team. Timmons, says Murray Waas at the Huffington Post, lobbied on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

If McCain does intend, as he indicated yesterday, to bring the straw man of the aging ex war protester William Ayers to the pyre to be burned once again, he will have a hard time confining the flames. I hope I might be forgiven a gloating moment or two if he has to argue that Saddam wasn't really such a bad guy as he's been telling us, or risk being caught not only "palling around" with a paid agent for Saddam Hussein but employing him in a position of high trust.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Days of rage

John McCain may bring up Bill Ayers in Wednesday's "debate." Oh goody. Despite a token mention or two given by him to the alligator pit, admitting that Obama isn't quite the avenging sword of Allah, he still hopes to keep his head above water by demonizing the man's acquaintances. It's a bit like grasping at bricks when you're drowning and many people see it just that way. The country is fed up with the slime, even if they won't quite admit that it's their own side doing it.

Needless to say, or perhaps it's not at all needless, Bill Ayers is not and was not a "terrorist" as that word has been transformed by 21st century events. When he blew up the infamous Haymarket Square statue in Chicago in 1969, the memory of police riots, beatings, arrests and vicious assaults on innocent Chicagoans and attendees of the Democratic convention were still fresh. The meaning of that act was not to terrorize or demoralize Americans, it was to "Bring the war home" because so far the marches and protests of millions of Americans, a majority of whom wanted the war to end, had not only been ignored, but brutally suppressed. Their bombings were designed to not produce casualties, but to call attention to the killing of millions of people in Southeast Asia.

The Haymarket statue commemorated the death of some policemen 1886 when an unidentified anarchists bomb was exploded as the cops were "dispersing" a legally assembled crowd of union supporters with violence. It did not commemorate the other citizens who were killed that day. Eight men who had been speaking at the rally were tried for murder and most were executed although there was no link between them and the bomb. The statue was seen and is seen today as extremely offensive symbol of repression and arrogant injustice by many people, myself included. Nobody was hurt in the 2969 explosion, many were hurt by the Chicago police in 1968.

The weathermen were not attacking America, they were attacking a tradition of brutality, injustice and illegal behavior by a government still persisting in such things after more than 80 years; a government still impervious to democratic reform. It's fundamentally wrong to equate such acts as were seen by many of us as acts of patriotism and bravery although misguided and dangerous, with the acts of foreign fundamentalists looking to kill, to destroy our economy and out influence in the world. There is a word for using a word like terrorist to make a false equivalence between two things, but whyuse it when "lying" tells the story better?

Bill Ayers, an aging college professor was selected as Chicago's citizen of the year in 1996. He has come to know a lot of people in Chicago politics. He's an advocate of educational reform. That Obama has had interests in common, has supported charities in common and has taught at the same major university along with other good men and women hardly constitutes approval of pyrotechnics or should be defined as "palling aorund with terrorists." Such malicious, simple-minded and malignantly dishonest claims as the McCain team has resorted to are sufficient unto themselves as disqualification from not only Presidential character, but from common decency.

I hope he tries it again. I hope the voters turn on him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Prisoner McCain

I've been called a racist for mentioning that the fad for tiny wheels on cars has changed to giant wheels. I was called a racist for mentioning that blood pressure medication I take is ineffective with men of African descent (says so on the box.) I've been called a racist for saying Batutsi rather than the Tutsi people by people who apparently aren't too familiar with Swahili. Everybody is out hunting for witches and witches will be found.

There are plenty of them amongst us; racists, that is -- not witches, despite what Mrs. Palin believes.

This is what one looks like: smiling, avuncular, someone you might meet anywhere, talk with about the game at the Barber shop, have a beer with at the Elks Club. Odds are he's a Palin Supporter, or at least that he gets along well with anyone who hates Obama. I said hate, of course. There are people who don't like his policies or who disagree with what he says, but they're not the ones screaming for his murder, his beheading. They're not the ones who have such a distorted view of reality that they think he's a militant Islamic terrorist, or the ones who think it's really funny to dress up a stuffed monkey as "Little Hussein."

They're the ones who think Rick Davis is right that the Democrats are running a dirty campaign and if the Republicans are hitting hard, it's a response to the low down dirty "Libs" who mention things like Rick Davis' two million dollar a year deal with Freddie Mac. Calling Obama a "terrorist" and a liar while crowds scream for his head isn't fostering a climate of hate at all and the actions of an angry mob are simply their own responsibility, riot act notwithstanding. In fact Obama should apologize for bringing it up, says Davis. If the infamous Alabama school bombing resulted from George Wallace's hate rhetoric, there's no comparison possible with Sarah Palin's "he pals around with terrorists" because McCain was, along with hundreds of others, a POW in the 60's.

Make sense to you? Not to me either. Of course McCain isn't in Hanoi now and he hasn't wasted a shining moment denouncing the insane hate rhetoric coursing through the nerves of the Internet like Rabies, or the lies told on his behalf in TV ads. Mrs. Palin was born while John was in Hanoi and her excuse is even more obscure. At any rate, I don't think Davis will be getting the Nobel Prize for logic this year nor Sarah Palin the peace Prize.

To be fair, I think McCain was being genuine when he assured the many headed beast that Obama was a decent man we don't need to be afraid of, but he's trapped by sliding approval and the desperate need to win and he can't afford to alienate the sickos, the bigots, the idiots and the madmen whose votes he needs. After all these years, John McCain is a prisoner of war again and this time he can't call it anyone's fault but his own.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

They prosecute liars, don't they?

I checked my e-mail this morning as I sat down to write about the slander du jour from the Straight Talk people. I had read about it at yesterday and there it was, already stinking up my inbox.

It's a picture of Barak Obama holding a copy of Fareed Zakaria's latest best seller The Post American World. For fans of Zakaria, amongst whom I count myself, it isn't necessary to mention that he is not a Muslim extremist, or an extremist of any kind. He was an initial supporter of Georg Bush's War. He's a moderate by most people's standard, he's the editor of Newsweek International and has been the editor of Foreign Affairs. He hosts a weekly program on CNN every Sunday and has a regular column in Newsweek. He's an American Citizen of Indian descent.

The viral slimebucket now circulating tells us that the book is about "A Muslim's view of a defeated America" and that Obama is the "most liberal nominee to run for President in American History. Neither statement of course, is true.

will anything stop this treasonous, anti-American and indecent attempt to portray Barak Obama as an Islamic radical? Will it take an armed insurrection, mass executions and deportations? Perhaps not. Perhaps all it will take is the resounding defeat at the polls these miserable bastards deserve.

What do you do if you get one of these? Don't just delete it with a sigh - forward it back and tell the senders they are participating in a crime, aiding an illegal takeover of the United States by deceit - use "reply all" to embarrass the sender in from of his friends. Do your part; it's your country under attack.

Do we really know who Obama is? Pretty much. Do we really know who McCain and Palin are? Absolutely: liars, slanderers and libelers by proxy and inciters to riot with no evidence of integrity or conscience by only a burning rage to win, win, win control of our country.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Barak Obama and Guy Fawkes were friends!

Subject: 3 Men who brought down Wall Street

it appeared in this morning's e-mail

Be sure to read the "where they are now"!!

Here is a quick look into 3 former Fannie Mae executives who have brought down Wall Street.

It continues with a long narrative about Franklin Raines, Tim Howard and Jim Johnson; the first two of Fanny Mae and the last from Lehman Brothers. I won't go into the accusations, they aren't important and they aren't the point of this latest dropping from the great anus of the Republican Underground.

Where they're supposed to be now, is what this is all about, and no, they are not now all top advisers to Barak Obama as this cynical screed screams. They don't work for him, but lobbyists for Wall street do work for McCain. It's just another lie provided to flesh out the bizarre accusation made by John McCain that the Credit Crisis is all Obama's fault.

Doubtless someone will believe it because they want to have a reason to rant and rave and threaten and they want to distract from the fact that the party of George Bush had a hand in this; that the Party of George Bush denied there was any weakness until hours before the Ship of State hit the iceberg.

Perhaps this one will show up in your in-box too. Anyone who will send you this will send you others insisting that Obama and Trotsky went to school together so he's a communist or Obama sunk the Maine and two of our battleships at Pearl Harbor. Wait for it.

The horror

While I'm on the subject of the Republican hate culture, I have to show you one of the greatest monuments to purely irrational and vicious hatred you're likely to see. I picked it up at The Swash Zone yesterday. The clip speaks for itself really, and although I'm tempted to refer to historical, artistic and literary events and depictions, you don't need to hear it.

People you know, people you deal with every day, people you have no reason to suspect of being walking volcanoes of boiling rage and irrational resentment. Proudly ignorant minds filled with fantasies and fears and phobias to rival the undeniably insane: such people hate Barak Obama, hate Democrats, hate anyone educated, hate anyone they suspect of being smarter and Black. They hate what Sarah Palin and John McCain and the Republican Party tell them to hate.

Although I do believe there are enough of such quotidian monsters in any country to staff the camps and carry out the horrors of any mad tyrant, it's agonizing to see it in my country. It's painful to have to admit that this is my country and not just a gathering of demons.

But here I am expounding on what doesn't need to be interpreted. Just watch it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reading the riot act

The riot act - although I've had it read to me many times in a metaphorical sense, I really don't know if Sarah Palin can be prosecuted for inciting people to riot when she stands there and smiles as someone in her audience calls for the Murder of Barak Obama after listening to her call him a terrorist. I do know that the cornered animal metaphor seems more of a literal thing now that the Republicans are facing the prospect that the revolution may soon be over. The mad blood is stirring all over moron America.

I've only heard of a few examples of threatened violence, but I can't get through 10 minutes without hearing accusations that Obama is a Terrorist and that Chriss Dodd and the socialist, commieliberal Democrats are solely responsible for the credit crisis. The animals are angry and they are angry at the targets they are given by the Republican lie campaign. "Joe sixpack" as Sarah likes to call her supporters, really doesn't know who the players are - or doesn't want to know the guilty parties if he's a Republican.

He never heard of Bill Ayers and the group that tried unsuccessfully to stop our last fraudulent war using violence back when Obama was a little kid. He has no idea that the Annenberg Foundation, founded by a right wing Republican is about funding the arts and improving schools, not about Islamic Jihad or about running Obama for president. He would poke his eyes out before reading a list of nefarious characters nearly every candidate including McCain has been linked to. Basically, the issue which in the last couple of days has become the central argument - or perhaps the central distraction is a distorted fabrication of no importance. This disgusting insanity, worthy of the most disgusting dictators and tyrants of history, is effective enough that I fear Obama's life is in danger. I know our country is in danger.

Whether or not anyone would contemplate an assassination if they hadn't listened to Palin's hate session, it certainly doesn't speak well for a prospective leader to stand by and smile while it happens rather than take a stand for decency and the law. Then again, what do you expect from someone who idolizes a man who had an innocent woman shot at and run out of town for being a witch? It doesn't speak well for the "uniter" image the bitter and angry old McCain wants to project. That he didn't comment, that he hasn't given us a glimpse of leadership during this financial catastrophe, no calm voice, no steady hand on the helm, but only snarling, whining and petulant accusations, speaks very poorly for him and his character. That he won't admit that the policies that got us here have been the main mission of the Republicans for decades and won't admit his part in it; that he won't admonish Palin for raising a lynch mob are more damning than his empty promises of "I know how to fix it."

If there is any consolation in the collapse of America, it has to be that it will take these evil trolls down with it; bloody hands and forked tongues and all.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

That one

I can't count the times that I used to ask teachers questions that were answered by "go look it up!" Of course that required fussing around in a library, sometimes for hours I had better uses for, but today we have it easy. We have the internet. Where is the excuse for accepting anything some politician says when he's trashing another politician? What is the excuse for spreading unexamined lies? Of course the excuse is that we don't want to hear things that disturb our opinions; but in a democracy, that's a dereliction of duty, that's desertion.

Why else would the John and Sarah show still be flinging the shit at Obama like two monkeys in the zoo? They know they can say anything and enough people will believe it. They know all about Goebbels and the big lie, the oft repeated lie. It's all too easy in the 21st century to find out that the turd about Obama voting for tax increases 94 times is a willful deception. But they're still flinging "that one."

Did McCain sponsor a bill for Fanny Mae reform? Hell no, but he's still slinging "that one." He's still blaming Obama for the deregulation and lack of oversight that are the core of Republican philosophy.

Did McCain, as Obama told us, really intervene on behalf of campaign contributor and convicted felon Charles Keating who cost us all over three billion dollars? Hell yes, he did! Why does he insist he didn't? Why is he still telling that one?

And why is McDesperate still telling us that that one "says our troops in Afghanistan are 'just air-raiding villages and killing civilians." when anyone can check and find out that one is not true?

And why does Jivin' John still promote his Insurance tax credit for health care as a better deal when Obama says someone might have to spend twice the benefit just to break even? Obama is right, says CNN, so why is McCain still telling us that one?

McTricky is still out there telling us Obama would have health care taken over by the feds. It's not hard to establish that that one isn't true either. The American people won't like that? McCain likes it of course - at least for himself.

And then there's the biggie: Slimy Sarah is telling people right now that Obama is palling around with terrorists. That, being an accusation of high treason, should have been carefully checked out and perhaps she did in her own barely literate way but of course it's a lie. It's the kind of lie that gives us a window into the empty, vicious soul she claims is saved.

I could go on and on: the claims that Obama's campaign is being financed by Pakistani Muslims, that he is a Muslim, that he wasn't born in the US, that his biography tells us he's a Muslim. Things the dumbest of us could see through if they had the will. It's endless, it's relentless, it's vicious. It's a cesspool of lies.

McCain's jackals are telling us that Valerie Jarrett, a friend of the family is an Iranian who advises them on conducting Jihad in the US. She isn't. She's an American born of American parents of European origin in Shiraz where her father was running a charity hospital for children. That one is a lie of criminal proportions. That one is slander. That one is pure malicious evil.

And what does McCain's trophy wife say about her husband running the dirtiest campaign in a century? She accuses Obama. Lies are clean, the truth is dirty and I'm starting to wish I could really believe in a hell for such loathsome creeps to fall into.

I won't go on. I don't have the stomach for any more of this most egregious campaign of lies in American history. When I listen to Palin, giggling in front of her barking dogs; when I hear John weedling and whining about how he can do this and that - I need to take a shower. I need to forget I belong in this country where such things go unchallenged, where people don't bother to take time to look it up, to check, to do their duty as a citizen - just because it's so much fun to be a laughing idiot, a chuckling bigot, a damned liar and a Republican.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cutting through the Bull

CNN's Campbell Brown says the presidential campaign has been getting ugly. Last night on Cutting Through the Bull she told us:
"To say, as Gov. Sarah Palin is now doing, that Barack Obama pals around with terrorists is just outrageous"
and indeed it is, but the fair and balanced charade that's been going on since Fox trotted out that trope, requires a counterpoise to any direct statement even if it's a poor one.

The poor one here is that she equates the Democrat's recalling the Keating 5 scandal in a newly released video with a scurrilous accusation of treason against Barak Obama. It's poor in my opinion because that scandal really occurred, really cost us all over three billion dollars and John McCain, although he wasn't punished, really was reprimanded for his bad judgment. Barak Obama, on the other hand, is not plotting to blow up buildings with Bill Ayers.

Reality, even if not quite damning, is more damning than fiction; malicious fiction. The truth is not a matter of balance. It isn't arrived at by finding a midpoint between fact and fiction and no matter how many sides there are to a story, they are not all equally true.

Let's cut through the bull.

Pigs, arrows and outrageous fortune

That giant oinking sound you hear is all the pork being herded into the Bailout Corral. Even though the plan passed last week has been so brilliantly successful at transferring all that nasty smelling bad mortgage debt to the Taxpayer Government, the Fed is planning to make us a present of bad commercial paper as well. There just wasn't enough pork in the original deal.

You can't expect to have a barbecue of wall street lobbyist proportions without big chunks of pork and little scraps like the tax relief for manufacturers of wooden arrows designed for use by children. You have to admit that their plight is central to the economic health of all of us. Who knows, your ex-broker may be making wooden arrows designed for use by children before the week is out.

Don't worry about it. All of us are going to hell or to Alaska in the next few months according to Sarah "ya betcha" Palin. She has a plan for everything.

Monday, October 06, 2008

A criminal and the friend of criminals

While we're being entertained by the fabulous fictions of Sarah Palin, perhaps it's time to look at the lumps under the McCain carpet. They are big enough to trip over.

Sarah isn't old enough or aware enough to remember, ( or possibly not honest enough) but I am. It's time to bring up the Keating 5 scandal. It's time to see what part John S. McCain III took in screwing the American people out of 3.4 billion by covering up criminal activities and accepting money for his part in the fraud. It's time to recognize that he did it for money and power, that he has always played an important part in the look the other way deregulation that has resulted in the biggest financial debacle in my lifetime.

This is real, this is important, this is crucial. No he wasn't exonerated ane no he hasn't changed his politics. Instead he hires Bud "Swift Boat" Day as a slime source. He has his minions circulate e-mail hoaxes about al Qaeda paying for Obama's education, about his chief adviser being an Iranian, about his campaign being financed by the Chinese, the Pakistanis and other bogeymen dear to the imaginations of the bigots and idiots who support him. He persists in spreading through his proxies, the myth that Obama is a Muslim.

You can't argue an idiot into being smart, but we can and must make people remember the John McCain version 1.1 -- the version before the painted up cardboard McCain of today.

Watch this 13 minute mini-documentary: Keating Economics. Tell your friends not to vote for crooks and liars. Learn how John McCain is the problem, not the solution.

Gettin' all mavericky on ya

Tina Fey said it as a spoof, but obviously the real Sarah Palin really isn't afraid to "get mavericky" either. I'm defining mavericky as dishonest.

She spent the weekend misquoting the New York Times (to a chorus of boos from the mavericky mob) to claim that one of Obama's "earliest supporters" was Bill Ayers, part of the Weather Underground back in the 60's. Prescient of Ayers to know that an 8 year old boy living thousands of miles away was going to run for President almost 40 years later, isn't it. Then she went after Madeline Albright (to another chorus of boos,) again misrepresenting a quote she read, or claims she read on a Starbucks coffee cup.

Of course to an audience of yapping dogs, this kind of thing is like a ripe rawhide chew toy. There's no telling what it will look like after they get hold of it, but to the remaining few of us, it looks like lies: damned lies. That Palin is a damned liar with no conscience, no remorse and so single minded of purpose and ambition that she will say anything at all is quite obvious, but her recklessness may have brought attention to some earlier affiliations of the maverick in chief, John Sidney McCain.

Take for instance his having sat on the board of the US Council for World Freedom a group cited for it's racist, extremist and anti-Semitic views. He may come to rue it. In fact, John's real history bears little resemblance to the cardboard maverick being displayed as a candidate. Many of those who were POW's with him don't see him as any kind of hero and the idea that he was cured of being a boozing womanizer by imprisonment holds as much water as a sieve. In fact McCain is a man who got to be senator by a road other than excellence. He sold out and sold out again and the receipts are still around to be examined.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Palin and her pals

I got another viral e-mail about Barak Obama last night and although it doubtless will affect my social standing in the community I told off the person who forwarded it to me for being a gullible and detestable bigot. I simply can't stand it any more. The text, pretending to be from someone genuinely concerned that Obama was being financed since childhood by Islamic terrorists, raised questions about how he took a trip overseas, attended Columbia and Harvard with only the financial resources appropriate to a black person. Of course no mention was made of the scholarships appropriate to a black person who is a brilliant student or the student loans he had to take out.

No one ever owns up to writing this crap. Rarely is it mentioned that interfering with the democratic process through slander and libel and character assassination is remarkably similar to an act of physical terrorism. We're not likely to see a headline proclaiming that Sarah Palin is an enemy of America - but she is.

Of course, now that McCain has let her loose to hose down the opposition with slime, we don't have to look hard for the smelliest source of this contagion. Even Jiving John McCain would balk at calling Obama a terrorist, but Palin won't. We've seen how lies spring to her smiling painted lips - ya betcha - and how for her, reality is whatever lie suits her purpose and her purpose is to set the stage for the destruction of the world and to make some money in the process.

I wish it were possible to tell Sarah Palin that she is an enemy of freedom and democracy and most of all an enemy of truth, justice and everything else I hold dear as an American.Prideful peity notwithstanding, bearing false witness is the core of her pathetic campaign. As you know she's been touring the backwoods looking for closet bigots who are dishonest enough with themselves to believe that Barak Obama has been palling around "with terrorists who targeted their own country. " She finds no lack of racists too smugly lazy to bother to look for the truth.

Indeed most of the mainstream media including those normally biased in favor of Republicans regularly refute the barrage of lies being told by Palin and the McCain campaign, but most of his supporters cherish the slime too much to let go of it. Without it they'd have to admit they hate him because he's black and successful and smarter than they are and they hate him for it.

Of course the violent anti-war actions of Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers occurred when Obama was 8 years old and living thousands of miles away, and the "palling around" he's accused of consists of living in the same neighborhood and serving on the board of the same charitable foundation raising money for Chicago schools.

The fact that so many people hold on to these transparent attacks and diversions makes me more ashamed to be an American than I have been in many years. Being confronted with the immense implacable power of evil, of lies, of racism, of snobbery; being confronted with a major political party whose campaigns are based mostly on these things is rapidly eroding any vestigial affection I may have had for this miserable collection of stupid, ignorant and vile citizens called the USA, and I soon may begin to hope for some rude and malicious god to destroy it all as long as Palin and the Republicans are the first to burn.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Nucular Sarah -- ya betcha

They told Sarah Palin to say Maverick as much as possible, and she did. As apparently contradictory as it is to call two people a "team" of mavericks and as questionable as maverick status may be in someone who is supposed to lead and to unify disparate interests, She continued to work the metaphor into every misrepresentation she made in her backwoods dialect.

Much is being made this morning of her "misstatements" such as denying that Gen. David McKiernan, says the "surge principle" won't work in Afghanistan. Not enough has been said about her calling him McLellan, a Civil War general often at odds with Abe Lincoln. Of course there is a bottomless well of humor in the very phrase. What after all, is a "surge principle" other than a very belated recognition that the generals who told Bush we needed a lot more troops were right -- and only after years of bloodshed and needless destruction. In retrospect, Powell's doctrine of massive and overwhelming force would seem to have been wise and would have saved a great many lives on both sides of the conflict.

Of course Palin was "in error," McKiernan did say it. Palin lied when she said Obama can't admit that "the surge" worked. He did. She raised sales taxes in Wasilla to finance a stadium and left the town in heavy debt.

The fact is that she either lied or heavily misrepresented the facts in everything she said and she did it with ebullient conviction because she was parroting, in most un-maverick fashion, the words of her trainers. Only an ignorant person can be so convincingly convinced. But that's Sarah Palin. Even with the new hair and the professional makeup and wardrobe selection, we still have the 44 year old woman who talks like a child, lies with a smile and who pronounces "you" as "ya" and nuclear as "nucular"

Most of all we have the candidate who can't afford any reference to the past lies, blunders, misrepresentations, failings and crimes of her party, John McCain and herself. She absolutely has to convince us that their past performance is irrelevant to trusting them for the future.

I'm sorry to say, Sarah, when what we have from you today is a department store window dressed with dummies and props, it's essential to look at your past and your party's past, witches and all. You betcha.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Palin wins!

Style often trumps substance in debates, says MSNBC. It's very true, at least in terms of public opinion. We can see it illustrated in the extreme in the TV coverage of the crowds already forming in St Louis: wildly enthusiastic young women are waving "Palin Wins" signs hours before the event is to begin. To them it's a fait accompli. What actual words, what answers, what debate can change a mind like that?

I would go further and say prejudice trumps everything. Partisanship trumps everything. Reality means nothing. In a world where a truck can have the "soul of a sports car" it's about style.

There is far too much speculation going on about tonight's Punch and Sarah show. Will she make a fool of herself? Will she demonstrate nearly total ignorance of all the things a chief executive is expected to have mastered even to be considered for office? It won't matter. If she breaks down and cries, if she begins to writhe on the floor, spouting glossolalia and moaning about witches, it won't really matter. We'll be told that Biden was condescending for knowing what the first amendment says or who the Chief Justice is and that will be that. She will have shown attitude and edge and poise or any number of nebulous and irrelevant attributes and that will be that. Palin Wins!

Horseshit! says the Senator

Experts on facial expression and body language have been prattling about John McCain's inner feelings during his debate with Barak Obama. We've been told of the contempt and anger hidden behind his $5000 make up job. We've had much discussion of his refusal to look directly at Obama. It's rather strange that nobody has commented on his exclamation of "Horseshit."

Watch his lips and listen carefully. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fight or flight?

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

This may be an existential moment for America; a "to be or not to be" dilemma. Still, not all of us are concerned with questions about whether to bail out the banks and brokers or to suffer the slings and arrows of market forces: some of us are more concerned about why God is allowing his chosen country to suffer.

The answer most satisfying to the Evangelistic ego of course is that, like most events tectonic and atmospheric, the credit crisis can be blamed on sex; gay sex.

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies posted on the National Review's web site that he is sure that Washington Mutual's collapse is to be blamed on open minded hiring practices and not predatory lending and the risky loans it produced. Hiring Blacks, Gays and Hispanics with no regard to their dirty minority private lives or unacceptable ethnicity pisses God off.

No, this whole debacle is about sex and tolerance, not money, not debt. God likes money far more than tolerance after all, and as the late Jerry Falwell told us, you have to give money to God if you want to succeed. But you have to stop giving money to people who believe in abominations like birth control, says Christian leader Mike Heath. The credit crisis is about our "sinful sexual culture, and the acceptance of gay unions"

So perhaps if I were Hamlet and had to choose between opposing our troubles and ending them: or to die, to sleep no more, to end the heartache. If I had to choose between caring what happens to this country and walking away, taking leave of the law's delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, I would simply sail away, another orphan.