Archive for the 'H. Clinton' Category

08
Jan
09

Quick fire Political Mpressions – Hillary, Caroline and Warren

Now that my blog slackoff has ended, I offer belated quick fire reactions to a few recent political ripples of import:

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State: Boo. Sure, she’ll do a fine job. But I am so over the Clintons. I’m over being over the Clintons. Go away already. I was hoping the mamma drama those two titanic egos unleash would ebb on outta here after the election. A girl can dream. If nothing else, Hill, please just keep the cackling and self-martyrdom to a minimum.

Caroline Kennedy (or Fran Drescher, for that matter) as Senator from NY: Go run for something. Anything. Mom’s Club, your Neighborhood Association, Citizens on Patrol. Anything. Then you can be considered for senator. Kennedy would probably do a great job – but that’s not the point. There are other candidates out there who have paid some trench warfare dues and deserve the shot and would also perform well. Kennedy should set her sites lower and marinate until Schumer has found a higher calling.

Rick Warren: Are you freaking kidding me?? Just after the blow of Prop. 8, Obama pours salt over gay pride. Yeah, yeah, I get how he’s all “let’s teach the world to sing.” But, this is about human rights oppression and the wealthy, obese, unchristlike Warren carries that banner with all the hate it entails. The decision was unnecessarily costly in political capital and humanly disappointing. It’s sad that I’ll have to start Obama’s inauguration by waving my middle finger at the TV during the invocation. Way to rain on the parade, B.

02
Dec
08

Hillary Nutcracker, Bill Corkscrew

All I want for Christmas, Oh wait! I’m agnostic… All I want for Festivus:

Please jesus seinfeld, I’ve been a good girl this year – promise!

03
Nov
08

I’m Voting For Barack Obama

Surprise of the century, I know!

While I had been considering Nader in order to support the multi-party system, he is a unfortunately a write-in candidate here in Texas – forcing me to question the immediate efficacy of such a vote. All candidates on my sample ballot are Repub, Dem or Libertarian, so it seems the major parties here in Texas are succeeding in keeping our political choices as narrow as possible. A shame for democracy, really.

Nader’s write-in status, however, did not itself determine my vote.

The widespread efforts of Republican voter suppression did. Republicans across the nation try to have hundreds of thousands of names purged from voter lists, fight efforts to increase early voting availability (salute to Charlie Crist, middle finger to Georgia’s secretary of state) and fund disinformation campaigns to confuse and intimidate potential voters. Our saving grace this year is that the secretaries of state in Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada and (thank christ) Ohio are Democrat. Sorry, bitches, no Katherine Harris replay here.

Almost all voter suppression efforts originate in the nasty little minds of Republicans, who have shown election after election that they hold winning of higher import than democracy. How ridiculously wretched that Bush claims is presidential clarion call is to spread democracy when he has helped his party be an agent of democracy poisoning.

The Right likes to flail their hands in the air screaming Voter Fraud. Yet, even if quite a few false registrations were turned in, it would be an unlikely realization that those registrations would result in actual votes. Republicans – who know this – would prefer to dump thousands upon thousands of legitimate voters in order to prevent a few false votes from occurring. It is a charade. A pathetic, dishonorable, horrific charade given the historic fight to provide us with such a freedom.

I find it harder and harder to relate to the Republican Party as a whole and my respect for the organization has plummeted since my days as a freshman member of the College Republicans.

So, I’m voting for Obama – for all the regular reasons: I agree with many of his policies, I believe he would be infinitely better as president than McCain, I would rather cut off my little toe than see Sarah Palin so close to the presidency, I want to help protect civil liberties and have the utmost concern for the next three Supreme Court appointees, I believe Obama to be an extremely thoughtful man, my consideration as a voter is not just for myself, but my fellow Americans and fellow citizens of the world, Obama would be of much greater benefit to the environment, etc., etc., etc.

But, I’m also voting for Obama as a big FUCK YOU to the Republican Party. As long as they are party who practices widespread voter suppression, as long as they are a party who views fair democracy as an obstacle, as long as they are the party who would rather steal elections than win them outright and smile at the freedom those before us have earned, I will vote against them. I will raise my voice against them. I will fight them every election.

Unfortunately, Texas will send their electoral delegates to support McCain. I’m sure all of you heard that a fourth of Texans still believe Obama is a Muslim – so that gives you an idea of the political education of our fine citizenry. As of this late date, the GOP is running Jeremiah Write ads every few minutes calling Obama too radical and too risky. I’m glad they’ve decided to waste their money in this media market since they’re basically (sadly) preaching to the choir here.

So, I will vote Obama and hope he can fulfill much of what he has promised. And I’m not simply talking universal health care. I’m talking competence and consideration and even-handedness. It will be so difficult for him to achieve many of his lofty ambitions in the face of the massive destruction left by Bush and Cheney militarily, economically, in the area of checks and balances and widespread corruption at the Executive Branch.

I believe Obama will take it home tomorrow night and the majority of us can collectively breathe a sigh of relief and lift a finally-steady hand holding a glass of champagne in celebration. But I’m looking past tomorrow and at the next four years and I’m cautiously optimistic. While the Republican death squads will emerge from their mire within seconds of an Obama victory – this time the majority of the country and overwhelming numbers of global neighbors are supporting him, watching him and simply hoping.

Here we go. Just breathe. And vote. And then breathe. It’s time.

17
Oct
08

I’m An Undecided Voter

Wait. It’s not what you think.

This may cast a shadow of doubt – for my five daily readers – on the politically sensationalist notion that there is a golden pool of undecided voters who have yet to be decisively plucked by either John McCain or Barack Obama. Oh trust me, the golden pool of undecided voters is there. But the field of pluckers is wide open.

Let me explain,

I live in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. As of today, Pollster.com has McCain ahead of Obama 55.4 to 39.8 here in my home state. Now, it’s quite clear from my previous blogs that I do not want McCain to win. However, I am not in love with Obama, I do not have a crush on Obama, nor am I engaged to Obama. Furthermore, I steadfastly believe in the necessity to progress our nation beyond a two-party system, which is anathema to democracy.

So, it would seem under this political equation that my well-considered vote is leaning toward Ralph Nader. He’s a third-party candidate. Of course, you wouldn’t know there were third party candidates from the mainstream media. Perhaps they’re bitter about 2000 as well and have made a pact not to discuss any presidential hopefuls other than BO and JM.

Most of us secretly know what will surprise many in the voter booth come November fourth. Lo and behold – there are more than two names on the ballot (Can’t speak for Oklahoma – when god was punishing me by making me live there in 2004, Nader was not included in the election in that state. I was pissed). Ralph Nader – Independent, Bob Barr – Libertarian, Chuck Baldwin – Constitutional, and looney tunes Cynthia McKinney for the Green Party. There are actually SIX presidential candidates! Six!

Of these second and third tier candidates, I would choose Nader. As a tireless founder of and campaigner for consumers’ rights, Nader has spent a life voraciously doing the right thing. While there is no saint of seat belts, my vote would at least heartily congratulate Nader for his selfless endeavors while at the same time giving a shot in the arm to a third-party system and avoiding any benefit to McCain. Win, win, win, no?

No.

Texas will ultimately send its electoral college designates to the malfunctioned Republican Party. Though I had hoped Hispanic support for Obama could somehow miraculously turn Texas a whiter shade of pale blue, it’s not lookin’ good. It’s lookin’ bad. If it were a closer race, I would automatically vote Obama to help tip the scales. Well, it’s not a close race, so I should definitely vote Nader. But, I’m not sure I want to. I mean, I want to. But I also want to vote for Obama.

You’ve heard it a thousand plus a thousand times: this is a historic election. The first African-American president! He has good character. He has reasoned judgment; he is calm. He is not showing us any of the daddy issues that led Clinton and Bush to professional baffoonery. Sure, growing up a black man in a white family has left him in search of a few things, but a black wife and black children have largely served a salve for that wound. Basically, Barack deserves my vote as well.

BUT, I have a degree in government. I do not believe political science is an oxymoron. I highly prioritize decisions and opinions that will strengthen democracy and am firmly of the idea that a multi-party system would do so.

My heart wants to participate in the history, my head wants to add a brick to our democratic institution. I am undecided.

And I believe that all the rest of the undecideds swimming in this glorious pond of uncertainty are of the same persuasion as I in that they are not simply choosing between Obama and McCain. They are choosing between:

  • Obama and Nader
  • Obama and not voting
  • Nader and not voting
  • McCain and Barr
  • McCain and not voting
  • Nader and Barr
  • Barr and not voting

**I know I left out Baldwin and McKinney. I mean, they got to be joking. For reals.

And the only people really grappling over Obama or McCain are the Hillary PUMA freaks who are deciding between doing the right thing (Obama) and revenge voting (McCain) – either way, their numbers have dwindled and they are no longer a factor in this election.

Obama and McCain are completely different on policy, completely different in demeanor, age, race, party, background, wealth and they have fairly different records. There is no one choosing between them. Not even Sam-The-Joe-Uninformed-Plumber/Fibber. The biggest challenge Obama and McCain have now – this late into the race – is convincing their supporters to actually suffer the inconvenience of voting.

What an unAmerican thing to say!! That someone would somehow ignore the sacrifice of lives necessary for our right to vote!?

Yes.

Say hello to the majority of the eligible electorate. I call it the “get-off-the-couch” vote. And I hear there are some wicked awesome video games literally tethering their “eligible voter” players to the console or keyboard or whatever the hell the jail-pale birds use these days. How insightful of the Obama campaign to purchase ad space on 18 online computer games.

The Obama team understands they’re no longer running against John McCain, they’re running against that un-cast vote belonging to the eligible-yet busy, distracted and unconcerned. McCain is shouting a lot of hoopla about fighting and being a fighter and having to fight, so I think he gets it just a little as well.

I do hope mainstream media decides to kill off this fictitious character Independent-Undecided Voter. We’re not sitting on the edge of our seats anymore. We’re either unusually angry or cautiously excited. And for campaigns and news organizations to pretend the race is about Obama and McCain and not the channel-surfers and workaholics and unmotivateds, is increasing my perturbation and decreasing my MSM intake. Though, as a political scientist, I love all the recent rise of awesome op-eds declaring what a long-shot McCain is. If only I could figure out who to vote for…

16
Oct
08

Reaction to Last Presidential Debate of 2008

Phew, I am tired this morning – had to stay up late and watch my Tivo’d Project Runway Finale. My girl Leanne won, so I went to bed pretty stoked. And I have a new rule for presidential debates: they must always be on Tuesday night, because there’s never any good television programs on Tuesday night and it gives SNL enough time to design an appropriately mocking sketch. Wednesday and Thursday nights should always be off limits. Always!

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

Not a game-changer. Sure it was McAngry’s best performance of the last three debates – except when Obama was speaking. When McCain wasn’t trivializing women’s health or blaming the negative tone of his campaign on Obama’s refusal of multiple town hall meetings, his face was giving us a show!

His stiffness and glaring made him look like he was sitting in a strip club with his mother next to him. Those split-screen shots were priceless – I watched Gramps McCrazy way more than Obama, thinking, “Somebody get that guy his blood pressure meds!” It had such a whore-in-church feel to it.

McCain In Hot Pursuit!

McCain In Hot Pursuit!

Obama pretty much coasted during the debate. I thought at one time he was going to turn to McCain and say, “Be cool, baby, be cool.” I would have (with a few four-letter words). But, Obama’s rebuttals were spot on – if not delivered in an extremely forceful way. When it came to partial-birth abortion, health care, free trade, Bill Ayers, taxation policy, Obama bitch-slapped McCain’s false accusations in a very nuanced, assertive and civil manner. Without, unlike me, getting distracted by McCain’s heavy breathing. Hello! McNutty, there’s a microphone, like, six inches from your mouth!

Obama and McCain’s direct interaction was fantastic, it was what we debate watchers were waiting for while making side bets that McCain was going to come across the table and try to strangle Obama and start poking him really hard in the chest. Bob Schieffer did a great job of asking new and important questions and then letting the dudes battle it out. McCain did a good job of not declaring he wouldn’t put Bob Schieffer in his cabinet.

And how annoying is this Joe-the-plumber thing? For Christ’s sake, if you’ve watched any interviews with the guy, there was no way he was going to vote for Obama. He’s an uninformed Right winger who compared our going into Iraq like someone coming to Jesus and being saved. Ick. Hopefully his 15 seconds of fame won’t last more than 8 because any assertion that he is or was actually undecided has my bullshit siren blaring. Stop saying the poser won!

Overall, the debate was a failure for McCain. He spoke directly to his base the entire time, most likely turning off any swing voters – especially former Hillary PUMAS by calling Obama pro-abortion (good for Obama for not returning the retort by calling McCain anti-choice). McCain’s demeanor was unpresidential even if he managed to drive the discussion. His arguments lacked coherence and were all over the place, going in three seconds from saying Obama’s “associated with all these people” to “I’m not going to raise your taxes.” He brought up Herbet Hoover again which is such a ridiculous line of attack because it was so long ago and Hoover was a Republican.

His slinging of mud and constant taking of notes (with a sharpie…are we in kindergarten?) were an audio and visual turn off. Minimally, McCain did not whoop Obama’s “you know what.” He claimed he repudiated any out-of-bounds comments about Obama – which is not true seeing has how McCain has said nothing regarding Palin’s claims that Obama “palls around with terrorists.” Furthermore, he spent an exorbitant amount of time complaining about a lack of apology for statements by John Lewis, bringing up Bill Ayers and ACORN and trying unsuccessfully to bring Obama down to his level. McCain did nothing to turn the tide looming over this 2004 Bush campaign of his. Sorry, the performance – while an improvement – was worth political bupkis.

And, just for the record – I want to address a couple misstatements by the candidates:

When Obama claimed 100 percent of McCain’s ads have been negative, he meant 100 percent of the ads McCain is currently running are negative. That was true yesterday and over the last few weeks. I think he put out a positive one today.

When McCain claimed Obama didn’t vote for Justice Breyer, he meant Justice Alito.

So don’t harp on them for these mistakes. Most of us know what they meant to say. They’re tired. The slips are understandable. blah, blah, blah, you get the picture.

15
Oct
08

Awaiting the Last Presidential Debate of 2008

After 21 Republican Primary debates, 26 Democratic Primary debates, 2 presidential debates and 1 VP debate, we are now at the end presidential debate cycle of 2008. My thoughts in sheer, edge-of-my-seat anticipation for the drama to unfold tonight?

Why, oh why did baby jesus make the last presidential debate be on the same night as the Project Runway Finale?! I mean, I know I can Tivo it, but still, that’s not the point.

Anyway (moving on, baby jesus), last night, I watched the Frontline presentation “The Choice 2008” – “A compelling look at Obama and McCain and their path to their party’s nominations.” It was. Compelling, I mean. The interviews – John Weaver, David Axelrod, Peter Rouse, Mark Salter and more – I already know quite a bit about these candidate’s bios, but I was kinda riveted. You can see the PBS excellent website about the program and view it here.

From Frontline

I found myself not just mourning the John McCain that lost the 2000 primary, I found myself mourning the John McCain that won the 2008 primary. The last few months, I have been too angry at McCain to properly grieve over the loss of the stand-up guy I once hoped would beat Giuliani and Romney. After a bit of education on McCain’s past, I realize that there were hints even 30 years ago that McCain’s sense of decency was a little shoddy. The last vestige of honor McCain is holding on to is named “The Jeremiah Wright Issue” and it seems that he has decided to sit on it – at least for now. This doesn’t make him a martyr, mind you – he’d still lose. The Dow is currently down over 700 points and you could put Rev. Wright sermons on a continual loop on every radio and television station in the land, but that won’t distract voters from their diminishing investments and retirement and purchase power. Sorry, charlie, this is a Democrat year and will come packaged in a pretty little bow late Nov. 4.

One of the more surprising revelations on Frontline was Tom Daschle talking about Obama’s choice in 2006 to run for president. Now, I know that ever since 2004, Obama has been the golden child of the Democratic Party. It was amusing to watch the video of his speech at the DNC in 2004 with Hillary and curly-haired Chelsea clapping heartily and rising to their feet during one of Obama’s more stirring lines. Many of the Dems saw Obama that night and felt a re-energizing that would later turn their

From Frontline

From Frontline

attentions away from a Hillary 2008 victory. Obama was caught up in the desire for the Democrats to rise above the ashes of Gore and Kerry and 6 years of Repubs controlling both the Presidency and the Congress.

Obama knew he wanted to run for president some day, but Daschle explained that Obama would not always have the opportunity before him. The longer he was a senator, the more of a record he would have to attack and the more votes he would have to explain. The end of 2006 shaped up to be the “now or never” for Obama.

It doesn’t make me particularly warm inside to think about Obama’s avoidance of a prolonged senate career – whether it would have had an effect on his presidential ambitions or not. His lack of experience in comparison to Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson and, yes, Hillary Clinton (whom I would never vote for) is substantial.

I vote largely on character, however, I am quite content that he is our most likely next president. I am especially looking forward to tonight’s debate with comfort in Obama’s most recent performances and the odds against McCain bringing a can of whoopass to the table. But the admission by Daschle that the lack of experience was a net positive in Obama’s White House quest reiterates how ridiculously jacked up our electoral system is and what a detriment this two-party establishment is serving our democracy. Sigh.

So, tonight the last of our presidential debates. The last of the real determining factors regarding the destination of the spoils. Since my guy’s ahead, I’m going to relish every minute of it and try to squeeze out a little pity for the old guy destined to lose after running one of the most reprehensible campaigns in history and picking one of the least qualified running mates. Pity will be hard for me. I’m not a tremendously sympathetic person by nature and have felt like burning McPalin in effigy a few times over these weeks.

What’s doubly awesome for me is not only is Obama pulling away in polls, my alma mater is #1 in college football (which is almost better than McCain losing the election). If only the Project Runway finale was tomorrow, we’d really be in business!

Knock ’em dead, Obama! Give ’em hell! And, remember, you’ve come a hell of a long way since those primary debates when you were practically sucking on a dry rock. So, in the words of Michelle that night long ago in 2004, “Don’t screw it up!”

Footnote: Sarah Palin must stop wearing that polar bear broach. Doesn’t she realize her policies would kill off every last one of them? And not in a fun way like shooting them.

08
Oct
08

Reaction to the Second Presidential Debate

I have a strong bias and won’t even try to be objective. Barack obviously won. But, if I was Republican, I’d think McCain won. Which means Obama won because McCain didn’t bring it home for anyone outside his base.

Here’s my lefty opinion:

All of this jibber-jabber that town halls are McCain’s forum was a bunch of hot air. Obama was a freaking professor. Um, he has experience speaking in an instructive manner to a group of people less than 20,000 – though he doesn’t do it much these days. Even with the sound off, Obama took last night like he was on a runaway train to McCain Smackdown 2008.

McCain looked decrepit, was chirpy and uncontrolled. His attempts at humor had him simply coming off as bitchy to Tom Brokaw (who was incessantly annoying when pointing out the time limits – let the men talk for chrissakes!). He repeated the same ol’ Republican line that Washington is broken and continued the “Obama you don’t know” crap that doesn’t pass the smell test. Calling Obama “my friend” and then “that one” made it clear that McCain had his holier-than-thou suit on, a failed strategy in the context of a Republican campaign trying to fight the “elitist” left.

What was really amusing was his repetition that he would be “steady hand on the tiller” as if we all have political amnesia and haven’t been paying attention to this manic, disorganized and reactionary campaign he’s running. “Steady” he’s anything but. And the viewers know it. Which is why the line shouldn’t have even been included. It just highlighted his jacked up attempt to run for president.

Obama managed to get some zingers in – something he’s not known for, included the “bomb, bomb Iran” everyone keeps talking about this morning. Relating alternative energy development to the advent of the computer was excellent – I’ve been relating the energy crisis to Sputnik, but might start using the computer comparison as well. It’s quite clear that Hillary was good practice for Obama because he’s sucking way less than expected at these face-to-faces with McCain.

There were a few times – as opposed to a lot of times in the last debate – where I wished Obama had answered McCain differently. When McCain brought up health care mandates, I wish Obama had corrected McCain by saying the old man was confusing him with Hillary Clinton. It wouldn’t have been a good line for Democrats and might have pissed off the bitter Puma crowd, but it was the first thing I thought since Obama railed against Hillary during the primary for her call for mandates. When McCain described himself as “a cool hand at the tiller,” I wanted Obama to say, reminiscent of Bentsen to Quayle, “Senator, you are no cool hand.” Again, that probably wouldn’t have garnered Obama any points – but plenty of us out here in leftyworld would have high-fived each other and clinked our beers.

Much of the pundit exchange following the debate focused on the presidential debate negotiations which allow the candidates to carefully explain their policies without really challenging their ability to articulate them. It is such a shame that easily could have been rectified by the inclusion of Nader and Barr, as I’ve said in my reaction to the first presidential debate. Obama and McCain repeated themselves and their stump speeches and prepared lines the entire duration of the debate, which was disappointing to say the least. The questions were slow-balls, pithy and triggered my gag reflex. We saw much more candor and operating from the gut during the primary debates. Alas, our world is imperfect.

It was fun, if a little boring and forgettable. On goes the march.

07
Oct
08

Go Negative, McCain! And Then Go Home!

With only 28 days left in the election, I’m hearing a lot of people saying they can’t wait until this is all over. Granted, these people are all anti-Obama. But, all politics all the time can be hard on people who are not political junkies. Unlike me.

I’m reveling in this constant political news stream. Even all the mud-slinging can’t rain on my parade. I suppose this is because the person I do not want to win will have to pull a rainbow with a pot of gold out of his ass to take home first place. After constant analysis of the men before us, I have to admit that I’m more ANTI-MCCAIN than PRO-OBAMA and really wish the left wouldn’t romanticize Obama because he’s going to have such a cesspool of crap leftover from Bush to be an extremely transcendent president – at least in his first term. Obama does have less experience than other viable Democratic candidates, his FISA vote pissed me off, he’s against gay marriage, he supports faith-based initiatives and has other “issues” which have garnered my disappointment. But as we say every four years about our respective candidates, “He’s a helluva lot better than the other guy.”

Also, this is the first time it looks like I’ll be on the winning side of a presidential election. I’ll admit it – I voted Dole in ’96, would have voted Bush in 2000 (was out of the country and didn’t get my shit together for an absentee ballot), and voted Kerry in ’04. After growing up in Texas, I was originally a Republican, but naturally moved to the left as I grew more informed – first as a social liberal/fiscal conservative, then even more to the left as I realized the lack of financial regulation results in the United Corporatocracy of America.

I’m not a straight-ticket voter by any means and support the multi-party system more than the Democratic Party, which is why I still may vote Nader in the general election as Texas is almost guaranteed to fall into McCain’s pocket despite the switch of Hispanic voters to the Democratic side. If Texas were a toss-up, I would by all means vote for Obama. Either way, I support a McCain loss above all.

Which is why I love his negative attacks. And Palin’s for that matter.

If they want to load their stump speeches with tales of domestic unrest during the turbulent 60’s – ahem, FORDEE years ago – while the U.S. is embroiled in two wars and the major financial crisis of our times, that is peachy with me. It only ensures a greater loss for them come November. There are legitimate economic policy disputes between McCain and Obama. McCain has every opportunity to present to voters a forward-looking, encouraging picture of where he wants to take the country.

Instead, he calls Obama a liar and dishonestly claims Obama wants to avoid answering questions about his record.

It’s not working. And it won’t work.

The ridiculous charade of McCain’s campaign has found their credibility on a downward slope that has paid little attention to the poll numbers. Instead of a plausible campaign on policies, McCain has given us infamous cannon fodder of stunts: the ads linking Obama to Paris and Britney, naming Palin his running mate, one dishonest ad after another – including an ad that claimed Obama wanted to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergartners, repeating the lie that the surge was responsible for the decrease in violence in Iraq, once again trying to win an election on his POW experience, the fake suspension of his campaign and attempt to take credit for a bailout legislation that failed to materialize according to McCain’s timetable, and – most recently – linking Obama to William Ayers’ activities decades ago. His campaign isn’t legitimate, it’s a joke.

The problem for McCain? The internet has provided voters quick and easy access to fact-based information, allowing people to call bullshit much earlier on lies for the sake of political expediency. Stunts are far more transparent than they were just four years ago. Would the Swiftboaters have succeeded under the current umbrella of the proliferation of information? I don’t want to give American voters too much credit, but I don’t think so.

McCain never gave his policies a chance to shine. He never gave his stance on the issues an opportunity to appeal to voters. He went Hillary on Obama way too early and the stubborn refusal of his campaign to see the error in this tactic is their death knell. Regardless of my disagreement with their policy proposals, they don’t deserve to win it. They tried generalities about his experience and his “maverick” record, but they forgot the specifics about what they are promising the American people. Basic chants about “cleaning up Washington” and “rooting out ineffeciencies” (though Palin forgot the “in” in “inefficiency” a bit too many times in interviews) and “Obama’s the most liberal Senator” don’t work. People want to know what you are GOING TO DO. Future tense, McFly.

From a politically scientific level, it’s been suicide again and again. From a leftie level, it’s been glorious.

Every time another speech by Palin or McCain is carried live on television and they are talking Ayers and calling Obama a liar, I giggle – then press the mute button. Each day they waste with these failed distractions is just another nail in the coffin of their campaign.

So, go negative, McCain! Go negative all the way! Because that road leads to second place. And when you’re looking for bozos to blame, don’t just hurl your spittle towards all the former Bushies you hired, remember that you sold your soul and with it any chance you had to win. I’m looking forward to see you do well, but not good enough, in tonight’s debate. We’ll finally get to see that Town Hall you’ve been clamoring for. Enjoy it. Maybe Bush will meet you afterward by your jet with a cake.

22
Sep
08

Arguing With Republicans. Is It Worth It?

Or does it just make you want to sign up for a lobotomy? I thought so.

I’ve decided to explore this topic after my sister and her two boys spent last week up here in Fort Worth following the loss of power to their home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. My sister is not as outspoken as I and lives on a street full of hardcore, lifelong Republicans as is common in Houston. Sucks to be her. Furthermore, she and I are headed for a family visit next week during which we will masochistically immerse ourselves in a cesspool of diehard, Fox News-watching (and believing) Republicans who fly the Confederate flag on Robert E. Lee’s birthday.

Just today I was asked if I’d heard the rumor that Biden was going to bow out of the race just before the VP debate for “health” reasons and Hillary was going to step in as Obama’s new running mate. I can only presume that garbage was aired on Fox because these people do not obtain information from any other source. Perhaps Rush Limbaugh permeated their commons sense barrier as well, but I cannot know for sure. In any case, pro-Republican media sources are just one long circle-jerk, so it doesn’t really matter where they get their information (see comments below). It all goes back to Satan in the long run.

Intellectual debate is one of the highlights of my life. I loved living in Austin for just that reason. No matter which bar you entered, the scene was ripe for spicy discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the leading causes of war or the pros and cons of limited government. Agreeing and disagreeing had nothing to do with the shared enjoyment of testing and rehashing arguments as round after round was purchased into the wee hours. I rarely saw my sparring partners again, but those conversations stay with me.

In Fort Worth, of course, the vast majority of people here are Conservative Republicans who pride themselves on their bumper stickers indicating which pricey christian private school they send their children. I’m in a FreeThinkers group and love the conversation there – though we tend to agree with each other most of the time. But living in Fort Worth does at times make me yearn for the ubiquitous open-mindedness of Austin’s citizens and bar patrons.

Living in a town like this or on my sister’s street in Houston constantly begs the question of appropriateness  of political debate. I’m outspoken and have little need for the approval of others, but also don’t have very tight relationships with my neighbors. When my sister’s neighbor across the street exclaimed, “Democrats suck!”, it was clear that arguing with the person would be unproductive and even less enjoyable. So why even threaten a relationship with a good neighbor, however politically bassackward they may be? It’s a question that will last through the ages.

In a previous blog, I discussed that our unwillingness to insert politics in “polite” conversation inhibits progress and stymies debate which is essential to a healthy democracy. We look to intellectual debate to be worthwhile, fulfill us, get our blood pumping, have fun, learn new things and test our acquired knowledge – not to wear us down, leave us worn and ragged and hopeless.

So, when is arguing with Republicans worth it? Here’s my hypothesis:

Arguing with Republicans is always worth it if they’re informed. Most of the Republicans I know are fairly well-informed, though most of them are also not regular church goers. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it, I just thought I’d put that out there. And while arguing with uninformed Republicans is akin to taking candy from a baby, it’s about as productive and fun as preparing for a triathlon by playing golf. I leave those discussions thinking, “What a dumbass!” rather than, “Oooh, that’s something to think about” or “That was fun” or “I shouldn’t drink so much if I’m going to have to recall shit from my AP History class.”

Arguing with Republicans is worth it if they use curse words in their every day vernacular rather than just when they’re angry. People who do not ever use curse words generally have some form of a stick up their ass. These people are not fun to be around in any event, let alone in a political arena. Even my own mother says “Shit!” every now and then. Those who can roll with the punches, play loosey-goosey and see the value in sarcasm are always worthy of a place in the forbidden world of political debate.

The previous rule applies to Republicans who drink alcohol and especially if they smoke weed. If they are a teetotaler, chances are they are wound pretty friggin tight and could erupt like Mount Vesuvius at any moment. Any real debate with these people should be left to the TV screen, no doubt peppered by the teetotaler’s spittle after images of nudity or Obama surging in the polls are projected.

Fiscal Repubilicans are always worth arguing with much more than Conservative Republicans. In theory, many of the fiscal Republican tenets make sense; they simply do not work in reality. Trickle-down wealth, lack of regulation, free market, etc. They sound good. They just don’t work. The problem with Conservative Republicans, however, is that they are one issue voters. Abortion in particular. For example, last week Ben Stein was on Larry King sternly criticizing the manner with which Republicans have handled this economy and are handling this specific economic crisis. After Robert Reich suggested he support Obama for just those reasons, Stein said, “No, it would not solve my problem with right to life, I’m afraid.”

One issue voters, mainly evangelicals, are the worst. They are uninformed and do what they’re told regardless of the consequences. There is no depth to their thought process and their leaders are unethical and unaccountable. I will not shy from an argument with these yahoos, but I also do not expect any positive result from these conversations. Most of the time, I have to present the flaws in christianity first because it is christianity that serves as the foundation for these people’s close-mindedness.

In general, if the Republican is cool and doesn’t take a quality discussion on the issues personally – you have the green light. If you’re like me and have no problem discussing politics with any schmo – even the racist ones – have at it! Enjoy it and remember that the discussion is what is important, not dominating, not winning or convincing. Simply having the discussion is productive. Especially if it’s over a good beer. I would avoid getting loud and redfaced – which can be hard after a few libations – but some of my best friends are knowledgable, fun Republicans and I wouldn’t have them any other way.

09
Sep
08

Post-Convention Election Reassessment

As we go into the fourth and final phase (after the Pre-Primary, Primary, and Post-Primary/Pre-Convention phases) of this election, the Debate/Pre-Election phase — WAIT, I have to turn off the television. McCain is speaking and I don’t want his lies to eat the good still left in my soul….OK, phew, that was close. Normally, I can watch him without a cold shudder that evil is lurking in the room. Just not while I’m blogging. — it’s time to reassess the playing field because, yes – to use the oft(ahem, over)used phrase: Palin was a frickin’ game-changer. Like a steriod shot before the final leg of the Tour de France to Floyd Landis, Sarah Palin provides a new face and new voice for the Republican lies. And, if McCain wins, she’ll be the golden girl next in line as leader of the free world. If they lose, well, look out science classes of Alaska – yer about to be churchified!

I’m going to lay it all out. Here’s where we stand:

Sarah Palin

I seriously underestimated the results the Sarah Palin Veep pick would give the McCain Campaign. Actually, I underestimated the Holy Grail of presidential elections — the Independent voter. Palin is so far right, I figured she wouldn’t appeal to Independent voters (I’m a liberal Independent – so she was definitely off my radar) because her policy opinions are beyond the pale of rational thought. However, her newness and shininess lured those other Independents – the open-mouthed, uninformed Independents who really don’t care about policy – right out of the undecided pool. See, these voters just want someone who makes ’em feel good. They have a hard time equating presidential decisions – like Supreme Court appointments – to real life scenarios.

So, in one fell swoop, the RNC had caught themselves a whole bunch of the biggest prize catch of all – voters who don’t vote on the issues.

To them it doesn’t matter that Palin attempted to fire a librarian for refusing to censor books or that she thinks Creationism should be taught in public school science class despite all the Earth’s evidence supporting Evolution. Those voters couldn’t care less that she would criminalize abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest, though pro-lifers are simply Christians wanting to wield their regimental religious umbrella over all of us free Americans. Does it matter that Palin has requested more earmarks in the last year per capita than any other governor? No. What about Palin telling her congregation that the Iraq War “is God’s plan” and asking them to pray for a $30 million dollar natural gas pipeline (video included).

These voters aren’t Independent. You see, “independence” brings to mind a voter educated on the issues who doesn’t buy the rhetoric spun into verbal gold by both blue and red candidates. They think for themselves and will not have a glass of that sugary Kool-Aid, thank you very much! No, these voters aren’t Independents in the true sense of the word.

These are undecided voters. McCain is old and boring. Obama is black and too inexperienced. They hate Bush – who doesn’t, really? – but found no galvanizing reason to back either party. The young people were excited about Obama, but he’s not shiny and new anymore. McCain was just an old man in the cheese aisle with ads comparing Obama to Britney and Paris. Who to vote for? Ho hum…

Then comes along Sarah Palin and all of the sudden the Evangelicals have someone to drool over. Who cares that her own daughter is a prime example of what abstinence-only education will getcha – teen pregnancy to boot! But Jesus is gonna love that baby and those kids are gettin’ married! The herd mentality kicked right in. Kingmaker-wannabe James Dobson helped pick her and now all the churchies can breathe a sigh of relief because crazy Palin makes the “maverick” in McCain okay. Well, the undecideds don’t want to be left out. That girl is funny! I wanna touch her! Can I have one, mom, please?! Alright, the Religioners now have their border collie and, Houston, we’re a go.

Welcome to the best democracy in the land!

If nothing else, her newness alone changes the conversation. Americans might not have the time to work through all the lies inherent in the facade the McCain campaign is presenting in her, but it doesn’t matter as long as that liberal Muslim Obama isn’t elected. They’ll hate the next four years as much as they hated the last eight – but that don’t mean shit as long as they’re guy believes we’re not descended from monkeys and potentially-aborted babies have the right to grow up and be criminals and semi-automatic weapons are still legal.

As you can imagine, I’m just dripping with pride.

John McCain

Good for John McCain, his base is fired up. Do you think he cares that it’s not him they’re voting for? NAH!! As long as the balloons fall after his speech on November 5th, it wouldn’t matter if it was the George freaking-W. Bush himself who was McCain’s running mate. And all it took was being an ankle-grabber to those “agents of intolerance” he so railed against eight years ago. What a difference losing makes. If I may, I’d like to address his electorate directly:

Note to Republicans:

You do realize you’re voting for the guy you like less than Bush, right? The majority of you are significantly unhappy with the state of the nation and its direction and, yet, against all legitimate rationality, you are supporting the candidate who came in SECOND TO BUSH and has brought all of his policies in line with the current administration. This is really one of those McFly moments.

Do you hear McCain shouting “Change is Coming” whilst having a campaign run by lobbyists and Bush cronies? Did you notice during the Convention, the Republicans never discussed policy – yet each and every speech regaled us with more stories from McCain’s POW days? That’s called DISTRACTION.

Can you ask yourselves how McCain will change Washington with a coherent answer or actually list the policies you agree with? If these are Bush policies, well, you know how the next four years will turn out.

Do you honestly believe that McCain will run the Iraq War better? Bush refused to acknowledge when we were actually losing in Iraq and wouldn’t listen to the generals when they disagreed with him on the surge. Neither did McCain. Now, McCain refused to acknowledge that Sunni payoffs and this new special operations strategy have earned us far more success in Iraq than just the surge. So, McCain will lie about the war just like who? Who? Oh, that’s right, George W. Bush.

Republican presidencies widen the wealth gap, shrink the middle class (which is what the success of our economy is based on), increase poverty, place quality medical care out of reach of a large percentage of Americans, place power in the hands of the undemocratic and unethical corporations. Job losses are at a five-year high. And you’re going to vote for them.

The Republicans win when Americans are afraid. And they’re doing their darnedest to make sure that is the case with this election. That’s why they’re telling lies about Obama’s policies – just like they do every year about Democrats. The Republican Manifesto about keeping taxes low and government small is false. It’s a lie. It wins them elections because people do not realize that the men they elect do not adhere to the manifesto. Ever.

Security matters, however, largely steer the politics of fear. Let’s examine the views of many of the delegates at last weeks’ convention, as reported by MSNBC:

“My major concern is national security: I’ve got six granddaughters and a grandson. I want them to be absolutely safe in this country and to have the same freedom I’ve experienced,” said Rex Early, an Indianapolis insurance agency owner.

Delegate Ed Failor, a low-tax state government lobbyist from Muscatine, Iowa, said his worry if Obama is elected was not what he would do, but rather that “Obama would not do those things that will keep our country safe. His willingness to negotiate with terrorists to sit down at the table with them with no expectations — that scares me. I have four kids, 13 to 18, and it scares me more than anything else.”

If Obama wins, “there will be a whole series of actions, redistributing wealth in this country, as well as changing our foreign policy to accommodate interests that are inimical to the United States, in the Middle East,” (William) Diamond fretted.

“On foreign policy I just don’t think he gets it: I’m afraid not what I’m going to think of 2:30 in the morning, but what he would think of at 2:30 in the morning when he gets the phone call about a crisis. I think his instincts are all wrong and I think America would be tested very badly under his administration.”

“As an employer I understand how hard it is to create jobs…. I am concerned that Barack Obama, a man who has never worked in the private sector, does not understand where jobs come from, how difficult it is for small businesses to create jobs and the impact of even small changes in taxes and regulations.” (– Exactly when did McCain work in the private sector?)

“For most of the problems he talks about, most of the solutions he has are just unconstitutional.” (hellooooo? It would take me all day to count the Constitutional violations committed by Bush and has minions)

That’s what we’re dealing with. That’s what Obama’s dealing with.

Barack Obama

The problem Democrats have is they’re weak. They don’t want to fight because they want to be “uniters.” Well, they want to seem like they’re “uniters.” It’s a bunch of crap and voters know it. Democrat voters want fighters who aren’t afraid of hurting feelings and punching back and saying what’s right instead of what sounds good to everybody. We’re sick of these mealy-mouthed candidates with no spine who capitulate like the Republicans were holding their grandchildren captive.

You know what, Republicans, I wish Barack Obama had had more time to marinate as well. He is very new and green compared to other politicians. But after that 2004 speech, the Democrats decided he was our boy and he has shown to have and practice much better judgment than McCain in almost every aspect of leadership and presidential job qualifications. He’s going to lower taxes for the vast majority of Americans, listen to and consider the opinions of our military leaders in security issues, place health benefits back in the hands of Americans, restore America’s standing in the world, restore law and order to the Executive Branch, place Supreme Court judges on the bench that will protect our civil liberties.

Barack Obama made the well-thought out, well-considered, intelligent and informed VP choice. He could have chosen Hillary for reasons of political expediency, but he didn’t. He chose the running mate who could help him best lead the country. John McCain opted for the political, unqualified pick and John McCain is being rewarded for it. The grotesque of political theater emerges in this election once again. In a year, when the nation is doing so terribly, it would seem that only idiots would vote for the incumbent party. It seemed even the majority of uninformed voters knew actual change was the best policy for the country. Yet, McCain supporters are lining up in droves, drawn in by the bright lights of a campaign of sarcasm and lies.

Obama now needs to regain control of the conversation. He might do so in the debates, but he needs to try now. At this point, Obama looks like a skinny, weak guy who’s on the ropes and doesn’t have the chops to put the other candidate on his back. This is the current situation. It’s do or die and lot of lives and liberties are depending on the campaign’s strategy.

The ads have to get stronger. So far, the Obama campaign has feared calling the McCain campaign (even after it copied the “change” slogan) a joke. It’s easy because it’s true, but Obama hasn’t wanted to offend the Independents. This is the curse of the Democrats. Republicans sling their poo like their whole party has dysentery and draw in undecideds by the handfuls. I still don’t understand why lefties can’t find their testicular fortitude and fucking get in this thing. Hillary needs to hold some seminars on whippin’ out the biotch. David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs – you gettin’ this??

End Game

The McCain campaign has an incredibly shitty candidate; he gave one of the worst speeches in recent convention history. But he is getting traction with lies, sarcasm, indignation and actually copying his opponent. The Democrats needs to stop assuming Americans are smarter than they actually are. Pretend these ads are for kindergartners and start launching some grenades cause we’re in the fourth quarter and there’s no trophy for second place – only a worse economy, out-of-reach health care, waning global hegemony, three more Conservative Supreme Court justices, and a potential president who – at this very moment – is being taught where she stands on the issues should McCain bite the Big One.

Democrats, it’s time for Rocky, for Charles Barkley’s elbows, it’s time for words like “LIE” and “PANDER” and “JOKE” when describing the McCain/Palin ticket. Lose, the whole “Heh, heh, you can’t just make stuff up…heh…heh” and the incessant “Uhs” and “Ahs” and calm, assertive speeches. Get fired up and remind people what they’re fighting for. Remind people why this election matters. Galvanize, motivate, and treat each speech like none of the people watching you will get off the couch and vote for you unless you seriously deliver the goods.

We don’t want Kerry again. We don’t want Gore again. We don’t want spineless weaklings. It’s time to bring it and bring it hard. We’re sick and tired of what the Republican lies and Dumb America bring us. McCain’s idiotic game-changer worked. Now it’s time to hit back. And, so far, I ain’t seen nothing. Granted, I’m in Texas and you may have some pretty good ads in the swing states, but your message needs to be national. You won’t let them continue to ravage this country the way George W. Bush has.

It’s GO TIME.

05
Sep
08

Reaction to Night 4 of the Repub Convention (blow by blow)

Three Words: SARAH PALIN HANGOVER

That was bad. That was worse than the first three nights of the Democratic Convention. In fact, last night makes the Democrats look like they were partying like it was 1999. Undoubtedly, it was Sarah Palin’s Convention. She owned that sucker and only way last night was going to top Wednesday was if we started seeing pigs twirl through the stratosphere. In the words of Dana Carvery impersonating Bush I, “Not gonna happen.” I even started to feel bad for the speakers, like – really, really bad for them.

Let’s start with Lindsey Graham.

He’s like the Dick Clark of the Senate with the never-aging thing; he still looks just like a frat boy playing politician. God bless him, trying to get that sleepy crowd going – he was more fired up than the majority of the Democratic speakers last week, but the Sarah Palin hangover hit that nursing home crowd like a ton of morphine. He gave it the good ‘ol college try and attacked Obama for failing to acknowledge the surge’s success, which Obama had done earlier on – egads – Bill O’Reilly and said, “(Refering to the surge) I’ve already said it succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” More Republican lies. Now, for my Repub friends out there – just cause I point this out doesn’t mean Democrats don’t lie, it’s just that this specifically was a lie. Falsehood. Tall Tale. You get the picture.

Another lie is the propagation that the reduced violence in Iraq is because of the surge. It’s not. It’s because we’re paying off Sunni militias. The mainstream media has largely cooperated in spreading this misinformation because it’s politically incorrect to say the truth. The only time I’ve ever heard mention of the Sunni payments was by Peter Gergen on CNN. The MSM just let the Repubs have this one. It’s called a “media blackout” or “bending over.” The Dems don’t deem it politically expedient to present an honest assesment of the reduced violence either – so they just give it to the Repubs even though it is one of their strongest arguments in the quest for reelection.

Lindsey Graham did have a bright moment of cleverness when he used Barack’s line for his own purposes, “It’s not that Barack Obama doesn’t get it (military, Iraq War), it’s that he doesn’t care.” That was really a “take that!” line and pretty successful. I give him props all the way.

Sarah Palin Video

Then came the Sarah Palin video, narrated by John Voight, and we were treated to what? 5? minutes of that horrifying synthizer in the background. It was almost as bad as that shrieking violin score in “There Will Be Blood.” Jesus – it was bad. Other than that the video was OK. Bland.

Tom Ridge

The crowd was dead for poor ol’ Tom. And I like him with that teeny little mouth of his. He had a good line, “You run to win. You win to govern.” Then he spoke about negotiating from a position of strength. Which is funny because our economy growth has slowed down and the Repubs not only want to continue with the Bush policies that weaken our economy, the Religioners are in the throws of attacking science, calling for Creationism to be taught in schools. Just ask Sarah Palin. Dumbing down our children (ahem, the future) and refusing to give tax breaks to alternative energy development – the industry that might just kick start this economy and keep us globally competetive – will insure that our dominance will wane, our strength will diminish and all of the “Might Makes Right” ideology will go down the pooper. Good job there, Repubs. Way to cut off your nose to spite your face. Makes me proud.

Then I laughed because the song “Right Now” by Van Halen came over the speakers and I remembered Van Halen was already pissed that the McCain campaign had used their tunes on the campaign trail. Tee-hee! And now Heart is mad that the McCain campaign is using their song “Barracuda” in reference to Palin.

Cindy McCain’s Video

Oh the horror! Forget more cowbell, they gave us more synthesizer! Please, anybody – is there not some seasoned filmmaker willing to help the Repubs out with these biographical presentations. Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Gary Sinise – have you no enthusiasm? No inflection? That was the worst narrating job since Chelsea Clinton narrarated her mom’s video at the Dem shindig!

Kathleen Portalski, Cindy McCains sister

Kathleen Portalski, Cindy McCain's sister

Of course, the video left out Cindy’s dad’s first wife, his mob ties and stint in prison. And when Gary Sinise said, “She got all the attention of her father,” I’m sure Hensley’s other daughter, Kathleen Portalski, cringed wherever she was. I just laughed at the moment where John and Cindy met and the script read, “a handsome captain introduced himself.” See, that was funny because they meant to say, “a handsome captain, who was married and a father of three, introduced himself.” Those Repubs and their memory!

Cindy McCain

I wanted to like the speech, I did! And maybe I would have if it wasn’t the most painful speech to watch since that of Kathleen Sebelius. Even my sister called me to say, “Are you gagging??” Yes, yes I was. She gave the whole speech like she was telling me my grandpa just died. I was going into a coma, my insides pleading, “Just get on to John, for the love of everything that is good and holy!!” Mark Salter, you are fired! Stick to writing books, buddy, and save us all the pain of our brains bleeding out our ears.

John McCain Video

What do you know? More synthesizer. My finger sat there, itching over the mute button. But I persevered. The theme was “Change.” How original.

John McCain

Wooohooooo! Green screen!! I bet somebody got yelled out for that. hehe. See what had happened was…a few months ago, when Obama won the primary fight, McCain gave a speech in front of a green backdrop and was pilloried across the lands for the assault it gave the viewers’ eyeballs. Well, last night – the big screen displaying slides for the crowd inside the Xcel Center displayed this picture behind him:

Thanks to TPM for finding that one. No, it’s not one of his homes. It is some middle school. Anyhoo, during the close-ups of him, it gave him a plain green backdrop and was hysterical to those of us who have no lives and subsist on political coverage and slim jims and remember the episode from a few months ago.

He gave Obama his respect at the beginning of the speech, which was dumb because it’s hollow and EVERYONE knows it. Pander. Then the protestors came in, which too bad, because he worked hard for that moment and deserved it. He did do much better with the teleprompter this time, even though he still sucked donkey balls, but, hey, fish out of water. He just wants to get to the debates and we all know it.

He brought up the whole “I’d rather lose an election than lose a war” line again, which is so bogus because EVERYONE would rather lose an election than lose a war. Who wants to lose a war? Really? No one. The whole idea just plays to the mindless who think your character is determined by how many flags you wave and how many “support the troops” magnets you can put on your car. We ALL support the troops. We ALL want to win the war! Especially the NECESSARY war!

Then the litany of Republican economic policies began, which differed his speech from all the rest during

Available at Cafepress

Available at Cafepress

the Repub Convention. The first substance of the whole week and what does he give us? The same ol’ Republican economic verbage: open markets, school vouchers, lamenting bureaucrats standing in the way of the American Dream. Newsflash: it’s not bureaucrats standing in the way, it’s unethical corporate behavior. Still, nothing here to attract Independent voters. And wasn’t that the whole point? I forgot what the point was while watching the Sarah Palin Lifetime Movie.

Of course, he marched out the POW story. He’s been winning elections with that gem since 1982. But, I have to tell you, I am POWed out! I had Vietnam Vet teachers shape parts of my youth and heard the horrific stories, but the fact that I – me – could give you a riveting, detailed and specific account of John McCain’s POW experience has cheapened the history of it and blunted it as a political tool. Sure it can still bring tears to those who can personally relate, but riding it over and over again into public office has made the rest of us cynical. At least those of us who are honest about it. “I wasn’t my own man anymore, I was my country’s.” Paging Mark Salter. Get a new line.

ABC’s Karen Travers and I had the same reaction to McCain’s call for people to make the country a better one. McCain said, “Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.” Karen said, “If a community organizer isn’t someone “defend(ing) the rights of the oppressed,” or getting involved to correct the mistakes of government, what is it?” I said, No Shit, Sherlock – what the hell do you think a community organizer does?? Community organizers have fully responded to the attacks on them by Repubs, which you can read here. But, if you’re really a masochist, you can read conservative commentator Michelle Malkin’s piece on why it’s just Obama’s community organizing that was “a joke.”

Then the whole thing ended to the tune of a country song with the lyrics “We’re all just raisin’ McCain!” And I thought claims about Sarah Palin having more experience than Obama made me gag. No. That song made me G.A.G. And roll my eyes with the elitest thought, That song sucked ass!

Basically the speech was a Sam’s Club speech for a Sam’s Club audience. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sam’s Club and all the big bottles of Ranch salad dressing, but that speech was not going to turn on anyone who isn’t already in McCain’s shirt pocket. I don’t know that it was meant to – he knows teleprompter speeches are not his forté and is probably chomping at the bit to get Obama into that debate hall.

I’m just glad the conventions are over and I can watch The Daily Show at its regular time instead of TIVOing it.

Basically, you can sum up the Republican Convention with just a few general terms: Iraq Victory, Straight Talk, POW, OBAMA BAD, BUSH BAD, Same Ol’, Same Ol’, Change facade (pronouced “fah-kaid”), SARAH PALIN. Good job, Repubs! Pat on the back! But you can still suck it.

27
Aug
08

Reaction to Night 2 of the Dem Convention

Boring, Vanilla Sebelius

Boring, Vanilla Sebelius

Is it me or are most of the Democratic speakers wet noodles? Sebelius was fairly monotone and unexciting. No wonder she wasn’t seriously considered as Obama’s running mate. Mark Warner was utterly forgettable. The governor from Montana was fun, but a bit too much a booby goober. Dennis Kucinich brings out my shallow side and inability to take him seriously. It’s not his fault. It’s mine. I have some character-building to do, obviously, but every time Kucinich yelled, “Up with…..!!”, I just thought, Dennis, The Brady Bunch called and they want their slogan back.

The shallowness in my home continued when I chuckled at my husband’s observation that Ariz. Governor Janet Napolitano reminded him of Executive Transvestite Eddie Izzard. Before Clinton’s speech, MSNBC kept the cameras on Bill who watched the Montana governor’s speech with his mouth open, pretending to be “rapt” for the cameras. I was just waiting for a bug or piece of confetti to float into his mouth, but I think they’re saving the confetti for the last night.

Hillary herself was fantastic. She revved up the crowd, made a convincing case for Obama, landed a couple jabs on McCain. She did what she came to do. Glad to see she went with the orange suit. I spotted some men in headphones holding up identical-in-all-but-color pantsuits up on the main stage checking their on-stage quality. I was delighted when TMZ posted a pic of the image! The green and blue really look drab and Hillary would have been way too matchy-matchy with the other female speakers if she went with the red.

The video montage of her biography and campaign footage was really well done, despite the unassertive, wimpy-styled narration of Chelsea, and her speech was all it could have been. Hillary is capable of giving a good, clever speech and rising to the occasion. Good for her! But her job isn’t finished and I hope she continues the rest of the election without any sore-loserness.

My favorite moment of the night was during the MSNBC commentary afterward and in the crowd was some guy holding a McCain/Ditka sign. Da Berhs! That sign rocked. As did Spike Lee’s t-shirt with Obama dunking on McCain.

I’m excited about tonight though – Bill Richardson, John Kerry, James Clyburn, even Chicago Mayer Richard Daley. Joe Biden will do extremely well, especially if he doesn’t run out on stage with his man-boobs jiggling.

Of course, the moment we’ll all be waiting for is Bill. I’m not sure if he’s figured out that Obama is the main character for this convention, but his speech is all anyone will be talking about tomorrow before Obama’s address. The tone of his speech will be determined by one thing: whom does he dislike more – Obama or Republicans?

He’ll pat himself on the back during his speech, but if he gives Obama a good shout out, it’ll be to stick the Repubs in the eye, not because he really supports him. He’ll also want to protect his legacy. If he fails to deliver for Obama, his bitterness toward the primary victor now outweighs his hatred of the Republican Death Squad that plagued him in the nineties and would have plagued his wife had she been elected. It’ll be interesting to watch, whichever way he goes and I highly doubt the speech will have any resounding effect on Obama’s electoral success or lack thereof. If I were the Obama camp, though, I’d have one of those long canes to jerk Bill off stage if the need arises. Like if he starts making Jesse Jackson comparisons again and shouting that he’s not a racist. Reminds me of Nixon yelling “I am not a crook!”

25
Aug
08

Note to the Clintons and the Clinton Crackheads

This blog calls for an ice-cold beverage. Since I’m drinking one while writing, I expect you to be drinking one while reading. Preferably alcoholic, but that should go without saying. Unless you’re reading this at work, in which case I simply say: you poor, poor bastard.

Firstly, let me just mention that McCain economic adviser and ousted CEO of HP Carly Fiorina told Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC that she had recently met with Hillary supporters in Pennsylvania, including one of CLINTON’S BROTHERS, who were considering the switch to McCain.

Secondly, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said yesterday that the media coverage of Obama during the primary was “embarrassing” and “MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign.”

Lastly, a group of Hillary supporters calling themselves PUMAS (Party Unity My Ass) is staging a protest outside the Denver Convention holding McCain signs.

Now do you see why I think we both need a cold beverage?

To The Clinton Crackheads:

McCain’s policies are drastically different than Clinton’s and his administration would echo Bush’s rather than imitate a Clinton’s. You should know this and probably do. The problem, however, is that your head is stuck in your uterus. Instead of wanting a president with character, you simply wanted a woman president. You probably wouldn’t bat an eye if it was Leona Helmsley before you rather than Hillary.

I want a woman president as well, and I am sure I we will have one soon. Hillary, however, lacks judgment and character and just a bit of good research will illustrate this. Might I recommend Carl Bernstein’s A Woman In Charge?

The media coverage Hillary received was negative because she was negative. Claiming McCain would make a better president than Obama was reprehensible and an obviously invaluable tool for the Repubs. So, the media covered it, as they should. Hillary lost way too many primaries too early to be a viable candidate and led an intensely dysfunctional campaign. So, the media covered it, as they should. Hillary told 60 Minutes Obama was not a Muslim as far as she knew. The media covered that bullshit, too.

They also heaped coverage on the Jeremiah Wright issue. They drenched airtime with the sound bite of Michelle Obama saying she was proud of her country for the first time. We heard no end of Obama’s guns and religion comment.

Hillary’s media coverage was due to her behavior and her comments and unyielding ambition over judgment. So, stop blaming the media – it’s too Clinton-cliché. Why don’t you do something original and hold your candidate accountable for her actions.

Your inability to “turn the page” this far into the game with the stakes this high speaks to your judgment and it is easy to understand why you would want the Clintons back in the White House. They’re like you. Poor judgment, unaccountable, irresponsible and self-centered.

The idea that any of you would vote for McCain and want the Supreme Court stacked with more right-wing, civil liberty killers disgusts me. The idea that you would use the vote people died for as a revenge tactic is so distasteful, the awesome beer I’m drinking right now is barely washing the flavor out.

Shame on you. You’re worse than any uninformed voter or straight-ticket Republican. You are not helping progress this country past the deep wounds of Bush and Cheney, but trying to entrench us in a widening wealth gap, worsening environment, increasing isolationism, and freedom poisoning fate. You’re despicable.

To The Clintons:

Stop playing the victim. You are not the victim. You do not own the Democratic Party and you never will. Your self-centered obsession is hurting the Democratic chances to get this country back on track.

Bill, you are a condescending, megalomaniacal narcissist. Your tone and message in the early weeks of 2008 permanently switched my vote to Obama. Your actual words cost your wife my vote. Not the media’s coverage of your words. Not any imaginary Obama claims of racism you continue to harbor. Your words. I could not imagine your worldwide boning once again giving the Republican Death Squad ammunition. I did not want Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton to be the reflection of our democratic culture. I just want you to go away.

Hillary, you admit you are not doing all you can to help Obama. You simply stated you were doing more than anyone in your position had done before. Well, boo-fucking-hoo! Get over it. This is not about you or your feelings. This is about record foreclosures and credit crises and wire-tapping and birth-control being labeled abortion and assaults on endangered species and offshore drilling and getting the fuck away from Bush and McSame.

If the whispers that you want Obama to fail so you can run again in 2012 are true – and I do not believe them – let me give you a little dose of reality. The percentage of voters who want Obama to win far, far outnumber the bitter supporters still hanging to the erroneous notion you were robbed. I warned during primary season you should clean up your act, lest you be blamed for a Democratic failure in November. And what do you think will happen if Obama falls short? It’s on your shoulders. You handed the Republicans a playbook against Obama and now you and your husband are flaming the divisive flames with your insincere support of Obama.

You will be blamed if Obama loses and the rallies against you if you run in 2012 will be large. Let go of your ridiculous ownership of the Democratic Party and do what’s right for your country. If you’re worried about your legacy, the best way to rectify the image you damaged is to pull out all the stops for Obama. I don’t think you’ll do it. I think you too selfish for the high-road.

You did yourselves in and until you realize your own actions led to your downfall, you will never fully be able to reclaim the glory you once enjoyed. Of course, it’s clear glory was all you ever cared about. Why not giving a shit for the actual state of the nation for once?

Time to get another beer. I sincerely hope I do not have to blog on this topic again.

24
Aug
08

So Biden’s Our Boy

Has anyone else been more than a little distracted by the Olympics? They’re like the crack-lympics. I couldn’t stop watching. Glad they’re over though; time to get back to biz just in time for the Convention!

And we’re starting this week with a bang wrapped in an explosion topped with a Holy Cow!

Obama picked Biden. I think it’s a great choice – even if I’ll never be able to stop staring at his hair plugs in each speech and every debate. When his name emerged as a VP candidate in June, I was a bit surprised. He tends to be a bit liberal in the loquaciousness department. While I appreciate his lack of apology in what is clearly a verbal brazenness for a Washington insider, the Republican Death Squad is always waiting (and wading) in the muck and the mire, holding their breath and making deals with the devil and hoping a Big D Team member suddenly has a combination of brain-fart/foot-in-mouth disease (Kerry: I was before the war before I was against it.). As a VP candidate, however, the potential damage Biden’s lack of discipline can wreak is fairly limited.

In fact, the benefits he brings to the ticket far outweigh the risks – largely due to his verbal courageousness. Obama is in desperate need of an effective tool to combat McCain’s attacks and Biden is the perfect weapon. He rivals McCain in experience and cannot be intimidated by the scare tactics of the Republicans. Biden regularly speaks his mind and has clearly enjoyed favorable public opinion – and votes – as a result. It’s time someone effectively shut-down McCain’s ability to waive his POW experience in front of voters faces to trick them into thinking he has good judgment (word to Wes Clark). He did a pretty good job on Saturday when he said, “We need more than a good soldier, we need a wise leader.” I think the media pundits keep saying that this tactic won’t work and has a high backfire potential, but Democrats need to give voters more benefit of the doubt – this applies not just to McCain’s judgment, but offshore drilling and religion. Grow some testicles, for real. Hillary can’t have a monopoly on liberal balls.

Biden has always been a bit of a media whore, but he has a good resume and can relate to the every-day voter in a way Obama has been unable to do. And when you take into consideration his competition, Evan “blah” Bayh and Tim “who?” Kaine, it was a great decision from all angles. If this was the first test of Obama’s presidential decision-making capabilities (and I don’t think it is), he did a good job.

Ugh, I’m watching CNN and they’re broadcasting from the Democratic Convention arena – there’s a cover band rehearsing the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” and it’s painful to hear, to say the least. I wish these Convention planners would realize that old school, campy, feel-good songs are just annoying. The song sucks and has sucked every single New Years it has even been played. Get some originality. Remember, the Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of CHANGE this year. Jeez, it’s like amateur night or something.

19
Aug
08

MEREDITH VETO: “I’d love to have that debate.”

It’s been a while since I issued a MEREDITH VETO. I’ve been sitting on one for a time because it seemed to vanish of its own accord. Unfortunately, it reared its ugly little head again this morning and the time to act presented itself.

The handlers of presidential candidate Barack Obama must think they hit rhetorical pay-dirt with the phrase “I’d love to have that debate.” Other modifications of the phrase dot the landscape of Obama speeches: Let’s have a debate, I’d love to debate McCain on that, etc. It used to be a common inclusion in his verbal arsenal. It’s even a title of one of the blogs on Obama website.

The most famous “let’s have a debate”, however, came from Hillary Clinton last February during her now infamous “Shame On You, Barack Obama” attack before the Texas and Ohio primaries in which she said, “Meet me in Ohio, and let’s have a debate on your tactics.” Of course, as we now know, it was Hillary’s tactics that fell short and I couldn’t be happier with that outcome.

I imagine the reason we haven’t heard too many “let’s have that debate” comments from the Obama camp is due to the repeated calls by McCain for those ridiculous town hall meetings he knows would never be approved and most likely wouldn’t approve of them himself if Obama had come forward with the suggestion. If Obama had continued to pepper his speeches with the “I’d love to have that debate,” McCain could easily have turned it around on his opponent.

The reason, however, I’m relegating the “Let’s have a debate” comments to the MEREDITH VETO category is simply that Obama is having the debate. Right now. Every time he gives a speech or interview. The debate is happening right now. That’s what a presidential campaign is – an elongated debate during which the candidates give there points and counterpoints about the issues concerning voters at the time. I even had to use rocket science to figure that one out.

If I were a member of the McCain campaign – which would indicate I’d committed some heinous, unforgivable sin in a past life – I’d instruct my candidate to respond to Obama’s next “I’d love to have the debate” with a simple, “Um. We are, dipshit.” Using a most presidential tone, of course.

06
Aug
08

Edwards vs. Rove Debate Update

According to the University of Buffalo website, the Edwards/Rove Debate is still on like donkey kong. This surprises me for a couple of reasons.

  1. When I first learned of the assignment of moderators of the debates, I also learned Sept. 26 was the designated first date of the presidential debates. What is interesting is that the Commission on Presidential Debates announced November ’07 the dates of the debate. That the University of Buffalo would schedule this Edwards/Rove match-up that same night indicates they either didn’t do their homework or never planned on having a large viewing audience. Is this why Edwards even agreed to the debate, knowing he’s likely to get creamed? There is no indication that I can find on the UB website that indicates the debate would be televised in any event. I would hope an attendee could at least sneak in some recording device to the event or UB post the entire footage on the website for all of us Inquiring Minds.
  2. The recent broo-ha-ha over a possible illegitimate baby of Edwards would be prime meat for Rove, who had his dirty fingers in the whole McCain-has-an-illegitimate-black-baby trickery in 2000. For those of you who don’t know, back in October of last year, the National Inquirer broke a story that Edwards had fathered a child with former campaign worker Reille (do you pronounce that Riley? Cause if you do, that’s the most retarded spelling of a first name I’ve ever seen) Hunter. However shoddy the tabloid’s reporting, they managed to corner Edwards in a bathroom at the Beverly Hilton last week after he visited with Hunter and her baby. A simple DNA test would allow Edwards to put this political Pandora’s Box behind him, but he and his wife are laying low probably in attempt to let the whole think blow over. It won’t. In fact, it’s likely a volcano amassing pressure before the huge eruption. How interesting that mainstream media is avoiding this hot topic, Kristin Lin of the Fort Worth Weekly echoes my sentiments in this editorial, while The Huffington Post and Propaganda Machine Fox News are giving it air. I have no idea if Edwards was seriously a VP contender (I think if you fail to help one elect president – Kerry – as their number two, you shouldn’t get the privilege again – Lieberman). If he was, he ain’t now, in any case. And whatever hifalutin political ambitions Pretty Boy had for himself, I’m sure this baby is big enough to pop a hole in even the most modest of intentions. At least he’s not currently serving in any elected office, which would give the Republicans an unending supply of crap to sling, but I must say Edwards has some big cahones trying for the presidency despite the National Inquirer article coming out last October. Imagine where we’d all be right now if we had chosen him in the primary! I don’t want to think about it.

So, back to this debate. If the baby biz quiets, Edwards is more likely to show. If it doesn’t and Edwards still shows, he has greater powers of denial than any presidential candidate I’ve ever seen. Illegitimate child rumors followed Bill Clinton around and never really caught traction, but Edwards is not Clinton. He’s not the megalomaniacal fighter Clinton was and Edwards’ wife has cancer, which puts the whole alleged sordid affair on a repulsive level far beneath any extra-curricular boning by Clinton. Needless to say, we shall see what we shall see, won’t we?

UPDATE: 08.08.08 DI-YAMN!!! I returned home from the zoo today only to find scavengers all over my TV screen, sucking the marrow from the carrion of John Edwards’ political career. Well, Johnny Boy, this time, the bell’s tolling for thee. I’d like to say I’m sad to see you exit stage left, but I never really appreciated your trial lawyer presence on the national horizon, faking your “Man of the People” stage show. You did a good job convincing people of this role you played, thinking you finally found the golden egg that would take you up the bean stalk. You played with fire and, now I can only say that I don’t hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave.

UPDATE: Wesley Clark to Replace John Edwards

25
Jul
08

McCain ’08 Campaign Obituary

In 3 1/2 months, the 24-hour cable news channels, the major newspapers, the sea of blog-happy political junkies and basically every Republican voter will be speculating ceaselessly over “what went wrong” with the McCain Campaign. Remember the week of rehash after rehash of Rudy Giuliani’s failed primary strategy skipping Iowa and New Hampshire? Remember all the talk of Hillary hitting her stride too little, too late? That’s what we’ll be going through just as soon as the election returns present a modicum of decisiveness on that first Tuesday in November. This time, the focus of all the pity, all the shoulda-woulda-couldas, all the tsk-tsks will be McCain and the campaign managers he bet his lot on.

Presently, the McCain campaign is ridiculously painful to watch – he has become the Britney Spears of presidential nominee trainwrecks, complete with a tawdry adulterous past the press and leftie-527’s have graciously left outside of their coverage – if for no other reason than that they haven’t needed it. In much the same way Britney chomped on her gum and cried over her treatment by the paparazzi (despite having courted those very photographers while in search of Madonna-esque pop fame), McCain – through his surrogates – stomps his feet and shamelessly whines over a media lack of concern that is only seen by those who want to see it.

It is already clear this Grand Old Candidate and his crippled elephants will lay the blame at the feet of everyone but those with scarlet “M”s on their chests. The question, however, of the day seems to be “Is McCain even capable of presenting the political passion and potential even us lefties once worried would challenge our chosen candidate?” Well, that’s my question.

To be clear, despite his Mav reputation, his presidential hopes seemed DOA last year. And, yet, miraculously enough – he pulled off a primary victory; though it is still unclear whether he would be representing the Right had Giuliani not perpetrated one of the worst political fumbles in recent history.

In truth, I was hoping McCain would bring it home on that side of the aisle. Of all the Repub candidates, McCain – incorrectly or not – seemed to have a shred of character the other front runners lacked. My husband and I gave serious consideration to moving abroad if Romney or Huckabee clenched any shadow of success.

Perhaps I was being naive, but I truly thought he would give the Democratic nominee a run for their money. Sure, with this political atmosphere, almost ANY Democrat could beat a Republican – Hell, I’d put my 7 year-old Quaker nephew up against any of those pretend “limited government” schmoes – but this ain’t McCain’s first rodeo. And despite the fact that he’s separated from much of the team he worked with in the past, I thought the septuagenarian would be primed for this contest. But, it is unendingly surprising what a terrible candidate John McCain has turned out to be for the Republicans.

And, dammit, I’ll say it: Romney would have been an exponentially better candidate (speaking in a politically scientific manner). Even with all of Romney’s hollowness and cheap mix of flip-flopping and pandering, he would have been new, hopeful and, at the very least, coherent.

But here we are and, face it, Republicans, you have hit the motherload of crappy campaign candidates.

They would have lost in November anyway, but at least Republican hopes would still be alive at this point in the game. With McCan’t, all the Republicans in my vicinity (which is quite a bit, being in Fort Worth) reluctantly sigh that it looks like Obama’s gonna win. And they’re right.

The first sign that McCain wasn’t up to snuff was his failure to take advantage of the lengthy Democratic primary. Instead of presenting a litany of hopeful ideas, solutions and alternatives to the reality presented to the American people by Bush, he cozied up to our failed leader in a predictably bungled effort to curry favor with evangelists and Bush family donors.

Though it was difficult to compete with the press and voter obsession of the duke-out between Hillary and Obama, McCain didn’t even try to be a transcendent page-turner. With a plethora of problems assaulting the assumed American way of life – housing crisis, decreasing dollar, increasing gas prices, attack on civil liberties, growing concern for the environment, disapproval of the Iraq War – McCain’s answer was nada, nada, nada, nada AND nada. Without exaggeration, McCain had every opportunity in the world to own the forefront of the presidential race.

Instead, his focus was in the rear view mirror – the 2000 loss to Bush (sign Rove up even after all his evil shenanigans), the lack of command of the evangelical base (even with his pro-life stance) and his stubborn refusal to cede national security to the economy as the most important issue of the campaign.

This past week, more than any other before it, has brought to the surface McCain’s inefficacy and inability to present a galvanizing and motivating political force. The obvious geographical and historical gaffes need no explanation. Certain realities should be so inherent in a presidential nominee’s subconscious, one should NOT say “Iraq/Pakistan border.” Nor should they mistake the chronology of the single subject upon which they are basing their credentials.

And, worst of all, at a time when his opponent is out of the country and he has been served on a silver platter an unchallenged opening to present a unique, original and energizing plan to take this country beyond the reality before us and heal the deep wounds wrought by Bush and Cheney, he and his campaign resort to nitpicking at Obama’s heels and pettily chant “I was right. He was wrong.” about a topic Americans relegated to “who cares?” a long time ago.

At this point, surge, surge, surge is to McCain as 9/11, 9/11, 9/11 was to Giuliani. And none of us believe – including the least informed of Repubs – that he authored the surge; so his incessant claiming of credibility for the strategy is old, stale and distasteful. At least he’s off the teleprompters that just ruin any ability for the audience to perceive McCain as vibrant and presidential.

McCain is over. So over a VP announcement can’t save this clusterfuck. Even if it is Old Spice Romney. Ain’t nothin gonna help this political Titanic. The Convention in LarryCraigSexInABathroom Headquarters of Minnesota won’t even provide a blip on the electoral poll radar. And, let me let you in on a little secret. When polls routinely suggest that Obama is only 6 points ahead of McCain, they are not polling just REGISTERED VOTERS or those likely to vote. Merely polling Americans of voting age does not provide a proper sample upon which to base candidates’ likelihood of success. It’s easy to SAY you’d vote for McCain, but to actually do it is a different thing altogether. He’s done. I’d say stick a fork in him, but I don’t know that he’d survive it.

The bottom line is that, as a presidential nominee, you have to give Americans a reason to get off the couch, walk through the rain, wait in line and deal with the volunteers from the old folks’ home to practice a voting power they have long taken for granted. All told, this is not an easy feat. I would suggest $50 gift certificates to Wal-Mart, but I believe that may violate some obscure ethics laws.

My main concern now is the potential development of a new vocabulary of verbs, nicknames and childish titles referring to the McCain campaign failure. Political junkies well know “Willie Horton” and “Swiftboated” without any context whatsoever. Gaffe-gate? Gaffe-o-rama? Gaffe-a-rusky? The Night the Lights Went Out in Old Timersville? Smackdown of the Septuagenarian? Obama’s Octagon of Hurt on the Old Man?

I have no idea. We’ll probably have to leave it to the results of a top-secret meeting between the nude, bald leaders of cable news in an intensely foggy steam room of some exclusive health club in Manhattan. Apparently, their most recent meeting yielded an abdication of any mention of Sunni payoffs by the American government. Good times.

Perhaps this obituary is presumptuous. I don’t care. This is reality blogging, baby, and I’m through retching over “reputable” news agencies failing to acknowledge the current state of this election. It’s time we realize which direction our future is headed and start holding Obama’s feet to the fire of political righteousness. And let’s start with a rethink of the FISA vote. The clean-up of W. will call into question many Constitutional breaches and Obama needs to remember that we are through with unaccountable Executives.

UPDATE: 07.28.08 – Every sound bite the media plays of McCain is McCain criticizing Obama. He went to the gym instead of visiting troops (McCain campaign ad). Obama’s meeting today with economic leaders was just a photo op. Obama doesn’t want to drill. Obama this, Obama that.

Who are the yahoos in McCain’s campaign who think this is helpful? Any political neophyte would know that McCain is allowing Obama to determine the discussion because all McCain does is “respond” to Obama developments. McCain must try and LEAD the discussion. And, yet, every time he’s in front of a microphone, he’s yapping about Obama.

This is a LOSING strategy. He should know this. His surrogates should know this. And his campaign staff sure as hell should know this. Pathetic.

23
Jul
08

Meghan McCain’s Blogette Fan Mail – So Worth A Read

When McCain admitted he doesn’t know how to get on the internet himself and said he never really felt the need to email, his wife did remind him that when he does get on the internet, he checks his daughter’s blog, McCainblogette.com. Hooray.

Obviously, I had to check it out for myself. The Columbia grad and former Newsweek intern is obviously more world wide web literate than her father and garners quite a bit of fan mail, apparently, which she posts from time to time.

It would be hard for any self-respecting non-McCain voter to get through these fan letters, but I gave it the good college try. And, since I’m a giver, I thought I’d share with you the interesting tidbits I could cull from these sentiments that will most likely amuse, if not confuse, those of us who do not support McCain and find it difficult to understand why others would.

FYI, the description of the blog is “Musings and Pop Culture on the Political Trail” and she provides her own soundtrack to her experience in the form of Playlists. The list she currently displays is of blues songs that help her when she suffers from insomnia. Personally, I resort to wine – I mean, isn’t it just the perfect cure-all?!

I worked hard to get through the Meghan McCain fan mail and the only reward I ask is that you enjoy these samples fully. And, if for some reason, you so wrongfully suspect these emails for fakes – ruses I cooked up in a drunken effort to gain readership – please feel free to access them in their entirety here.

Tim from Houston, Texas writes: Being a Veteran myself and knowing what it takes to be in your fathers shoes, I am completely impressed with how you and your family deal with day to day living while on the trail. I have and always will stand in awe of Senator, soon to be President McCain and all he has been through and what kind of a man he has turned out to be as well as How his daughter has turned out. Very impressive.

Wendy from Bainbridge Island, Washington writes:
Hi Meghan! My name is Wendy. I have been a Democrat all my life and was a Clinton supporter. Now that that does not seem to be a possible option, I am throwing myself 100% behind John McCain and will do everything in my power to assist him in defeating Obama. …

Lane from Great Falls, Virginia writes: You have inspired me,a young girl, to follow the trail and become interested in the government of our country….which before i thought was impossible!!

Dan from Seattle, Washington writes:
I am extremely impressed with the quality of your playlists. The broad range of your tastes shows that you have a keen ear and sharp intellect. I am an independent voter and know that a man who raises a daughter to enjoy and respect many types of music is worth listening too about many issues.

Andrew from Boston, Massachusetts writes: It sometimes shocks people that Republicans like myself care for (and work for) the environment. Republicans care just as much about the protecting the heritage of their land as anyone (I might argue even more).

Gerald from Columbia, Missouri writes: This has given me the boost I needed to vote for him in the presidential election.

Colleen from Pflugerville, Texas writes: If all of America could read what you write and what your pictures show, there would be do doubt about voting for your father.

Sean from Clovis, New Mexico writes: There is no question that Senator McCain has always put the country we love ahead of partisanship or politics. I have not always agreed with Senator McCain on every little issue, but have always respected the fact that he says what he really thinks, honestly, without pandering. Our generation needs someone like John McCain who inspires us — the way JFK did our parents — to “serve a cause greater than self.”

Sue from Loudon, New Hampshire writes:
Your site is great! I just bookmarked it. A different perspective on John McCain. I am now planning on backing your dad (I am a former Hillary backer)…

Elizabeth from Coeur d alene, Idaho writes:
Hi there!! Just found your blog and as a former Hillary Clinton supporter, since she’s no longer an option to go with, I will be voting for McCain– I plan to work as hard for him as I did for Hillary. While some views and beliefs are different I believe many are similar—

Jon from Commack, New York writes:
Meghan, I am jealous!!! SONIC advertises on TV, and Cable here in NY, but alas NY has no SONICS!! The next campaign lol should be… WE WANT SONICS IN NY. Peace, Jon

Hope from Little Boston, Pennsylvania writes: Thank you so much for the post about inner beauty. I printed it out and stuck it on my mirror. You’re an inspiration to young women everywhere. (:

Will these people really be surprised when Obama wins? Most of the Repubs I know plan on voting for McCain, but know it will almost certainly be an exercise in vain futility.

22
Jul
08

Government, Get Out of My Uterus

Not finished stomping on our civil liberties, the Bush administration wants to get a few more shin kicks in before rewarding us with #1 on all our wish lists: their absence.

Last week, the NYTimes reported the administration started circulating a proposal that would require hospitals, medical schools, clinics and researchers to sign a certificate saying they will not refuse to hire doctors and nurses who oppose abortion and birth control if these medical institutions wish to receive funding from the Department of Health. Apparently, it is already against the law for these institutions to discriminate against such doctors and nurses. The certificate, according the Department of Health, helps them police prejudice. Perhaps we should focus our efforts on policing stupidity.

Well, finally our sleepy little Congress is waking up and attempting to put their proverbial foot down. Sen. Hillary Clinton submitted her opinion of the proposal to The Huffpo yesterday, stating these new rules, which will be released next week, “put in place new barriers to accessing common forms of contraception like birth control pills, emergency contraception and IUDs by labeling them ‘abortion.'”

Over 100 members of the House of Representatives are sending a protest letter to President Bush stating:

The draft regulation could have a disastrous effect upon access to safe and effective birth control for millions of women across the country…

By distorting the scope of the laws, it would gut state and local protections of women’s right to safe and effective birth control. This is not a technical clarification regarding abortion services. This is a radical reversal of decades of public health work to provide contraception and family planning services that have enjoyed wide bipartisan support.

Certainly, I’m not holding my breath in hopes the administration will suddenly take this new proposal off the horizon (the Bush administration’s word for “table”). They have systematically popped holes in many civil liberties once taken for granted in the “home of the free.” North Korea, here we come!

I find it ironic that very few Republicans are raising their voice to oppose this potential change in Department of Health and Human Services procedures. The last I checked, Republican doctrine called for limited government. These new restrictions would practically nullify a number of state laws regarding women’s health issues.

Of course, Republicans under W. have become laughing stock representatives of hypocrisy with their spending and rubber-stamping. Such shameful behavior has led to the recent rise in popularity of Libertarians, such as Ron Paul (who is sticking to his guns and staying with the Republicans) and Bob Barr (who is not). The Republican Party is in a downward spiral of unequaled proportions largely due to their abdication of the party’s original ideals. This new Dept. of Health regulation proposal is yet another example of the federal government overstepping its bounds.

Yet, nary a peep of protest has sounded from the Republican side of the aisle. How disgustingly typical. It will be quite the party tallying all those Congressional seats lost by Republicans the night of November 5th. I hope I’ll be able to stay up after all the champagne I plan on imbibing and must remember not to pop the cork immediately after exiting the voting booth.

Is Bush trying one last time to reward the Religious Right who delivered such a living failure to We The People? The Religious Right who wants the freedom NOT to teach their kids about STDs and birth control? Who wants laws against sodomy to remain on the books in certain states? Who wants the government’s nose in everybody else’s business but their own? “Protect our liberties! Police everyone else who disagrees with us! No Gay Marriage!” You know the drill.

I used to be Christian and sure, I remember that Baby Jesus doesn’t like abortions. But I do not remember reading in The Bible Baby Jesus saying good Christians must prevent all others from such practices. When “Voting by the Bible” (a bumper sticker I read numerous times in Oklahoma), I would urge Christians to remember that The Bible instructs its practitioners to concentrate on themselves and their own sins. It does not urge Christians to run around, ruling everyone else’s lives and demanding the erection of a theocracy.

Remember, when you refuse to protect the rights of those who disagree with you, it will be your rights that are eliminated next.

In the meantime, do you think it’s too early to start planning my Bush’s Last Day Party?

11
Jul
08

Did Obama Just Lose My Vote?

This is serious. I’ve been saying for quite a while that Obama has not yet earned my vote and I am quite happy voting for Nader to help strengthen efforts toward a multi-party system. However, I voted for Obama in the primary here in Texas and was excited to vote for the first viable African-American candidate in the U.S.

Also, this is the most important election in years, if for no other reason than the necessity to populate the Supreme Court with judges who will protect civil liberties unlike those Bush has appointed or McCain would appoint.

While I have continuously lambasted the lack of character Hillary Clinton and her husband have shown during the primary season, I would not say I have been sipping “Obama Kool-Aid.” I understand that his “Change We Can Believe In” slogan is only as effective as his ability – to put it simply – to get things done. And politicians have to work together to accomplish progress. (Unless you’re President Bush, in which case you use the 9/11 attacks and existence of terrorism to scare Americans and politicians alike into marching behind your efforts to make the U.S. more of an authoritarian regime than ever before. Ugh, the thought makes it difficult to keep my coffee and chocolate granola cereal down.)

Obama is a politician first. With a degree in Government, I never lose sight of this. While Democrats fall in love (and Republicans fall in line) we must not forget that politicians must operate within the existing confines of the Washington Dance. This will inevitably lead to widespread disapointment with Obama, when he’s president, because he simply cannot please everyone and will have to compromise in order to accomplish certain goals. A president must make decisions when no option is the right one. It’s a hard gig – the hardest one in the world; I thoroughly recognize this.

However, much of my free time this week has been spent trolling the internet for a reasonable justification for Obama’s approval of the new FISA Act of 2008. Of course, I already have my fair share of underlying bitterness because the Democrats have performed disgracefully since taking control of the Congress. They are inexplicably banner ankle-grabbers again and again despite Bush’s record disapproval ratings. Yes, they do not want to seem weak on national security, but they are greatly underestimating the American people’s desire to have their civil liberties protected in this era of heightened danger.

Congressional members have far more concern with the length of their federal careers than casting the appropriate vote – rendering them impotent in the areas of war profiteering (Diane Feinstein’s husband is a defense contractor and why she still enjoys support in California, I have no idea. BTW, she vote AYE on FISA as well), criminal activity at the executive level (erasing emails, Karl Rove and Harriet Miers refusing to testify, Valerie Plame, fixing EPA reports and much, much more), reforming health care and national energy policy, policing unfair lending practices and allowing the establishment of a credit industry that works against the American people, not for them. It inexplicable that Congress has utterly failed to inhibit Bush’s harmful activities when the majority of Americans do not favor his policies in the slightest. It is frustrating and goddamned ridiculous.

So, Obama is Change personified, right?

Apparently, not so. Yes, I have read his blog on The Huffington Post regarding his FISA vote, which proffered no substantial logic for his approval of the bill. A few gems from the piece are:

Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I’ve chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention — once I’m sworn in as president — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

Democracy cannot exist without strong differences. And going forward, some of you may decide that my FISA position is a deal breaker. That’s ok. But I think it is worth pointing out that our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences we may have.

The problem with our agreement on the vast majority of issues is that his vote on the FISA bill illustrates his inherent weakness and willingness to compromise when no comprise is needed simply to prove (which he fails to do with this vote) that he is strong on national security. This “aye” was unnecessary, dangerous, wrong, hurtful and potentially, yes, a deal breaker. Especially when assessing the guts of the bill, along with those who voted against it. On The Huffpo website, David Bromwich provides a very concise, yet in-depth look at the governmental powers granted with this legislation. I strongly recommend reading the blog and the readers’ comments below.

Among the senators who opposed the vote are Biden, Boxer, Dodd, Clinton, Byrd, Durbin, Feingold, Harkin, Kerry, Leahy, Reid and Levin.

The bottom line is that political agreements with a candidate are moot if the candidate does not have the political strength or fortitude to operate in accordance with that agreement.

Of course, Obama’s folding on FISA was a political calculation – that’s practically consensus. And I wish he could offer an honest defense of his vote; but, alas, this theater of election season would lead any such candor to damage the candidate.

Obama will be elected president barring any unforeseen, intensely damaging and highly unlikely circumstances. Though the media portrays the presidential race as close – it is a facade. McCain’s chances of succeeding in November, in my opinion, are around 1 in 5. Incumbent parties do not win when the economy is in the tank – mentally or not (and it’s not mental, Phil, when milk, bread, cereal, gas and all other necessities are more and more expensive and the dollar is weaker and weaker). McCain is not galvanizing and voter trust of most election issues points toward Obama. I wish Obama the best and will be hopeful as he takes his oath of office.

Furthermore, I applaud Obama’s willingness to work across the aisle and understand there will be areas in which he will break with Liberals. Support of faith-based community initiatives, for one (and this coming from an agnostic).

The FISA Act, however, is so detrimental to democracy itself, my respect for not just Obama himself, but the very idea of Obama has been irreparably damaged. I would encourage hardcore Obama supporters to keep this particular vote of his in mind when daydreaming of the days to come as he takes on the heavy mantle of President of the United States of America. Perfection at this level does not exist and any romance with a candidate will certainly abate over time.

I would never cast a vote for McFlip-Flop, nor would I ever stay home and waste a voting opportunity. Also, I am a thorough, complete supporter of a multi-party system. While I wanted to vote for Obama – and was excited to vote for him – my decision was not cast in stone. It still is not cemented. However, the odds I would pull the lever in support of him this November are greatly diminished. Truthfully, I am ever more looking in Nader’s direction.

If Obama’s political contributions continue to decline, I encourage him to address his FISA ’08 support with increased seriousness. This is no small issue for those of us who follow politics and government activity.

This weekend, I plan on purchasing Obama’s two books and will begin reading them with a large grain of salt. Perhaps this will allow me some insight behind this recent mind-boggling decision of his.

As of this point, Obama is not Hope and he is not Change We Can Believe In. He is merely Better Than Bush, but isn’t everybody else?




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