Westboro Supreme Court mis-rule

SUMMARY: This isn’t Free Speech, it’s freedom of politico-(pseudo-)religious gang-persecution organized on a national basis against random mourners (as such) uninvolved in the grievances supposedly being protested by Funeral Invasion.


Mob pseudo-religious persecution of mourners’ Free Exercise of Religion — the Baptists’ “speech” is usually not on-point, but irrelevant to the life and death circumstances of the decedent at funerals they INVADE — is just like the mob persecution of Christians in Turkey, long winked at by a supposedly-secularist State.  It violates the civil rights of decedents and their grieving survivors.  Only an unholy alliance between the Court’s fellow-fundamentalists and its (this time) misguided “liberals” would rule that the civil rights of off-topic, political, media-hog, worship-invaders trump Freedom of Religion.

Yes, all defenses of Westboro defend their protests as political, though they are veiled in religion.  If (Westboro) politics now trumps (everybody else’s) religion, maybe the rest of the Religious Right IS right, that religious freedom is being flushed down the toilet with the politicization of everything — IRONICALLY, BY THEM!

Another way of approaching it is that the Religious Right, a vast well-organized group, may now abuse its “rights” to violate the rights of usually-tiny groups of mourners anywhere in the country — not unlike the invasive, disgusting, terroristic tactics of Operation “Rescue” abortion-clinic protesters and their incited gunmen / bombers / racketeers / conspirators.  If the Bill of Rights is about anything, it’s about protecting the rights of the oppressed — not only those oppressed by governments or officials, but by their fellow human beings in this country generally, especially by groups bigger than them.  Look for other hate groups to go back to the Courts now for vindication against explicit civil rights legislation — the Ku Klux Klan, “sovereign citizens,” (neo?)Nazis, self-appointed “militias” and border guards, “Dot Busters,” ‘crosshairs’ assassins, the whole sorry, scary lot of them.  What will the lawless Scalia/Roberts Court say then?  Cross-burnings and lynchings are OK again?  Literacy tests and poll taxes for voting?  Forced segregation of public schools?  ‘The disabled or mentally ill, gay or “different,” should be neither seen nor heard’?  Torching Catholic churches?  Slavery?  Human females as their males’ property?  State-Established religions again?  Swastikas scrawled on synagogues’ outside walls are OK because they don’t violate the “privacy” of the interior of the building??!!  It seems the Court liberals, including two Jewish women and a “wise Latina,” have been tricked into signing on to the rollback of the whole 20th century, if not worse.  (And Clarence Thomas? Nevermind!!!)

Ironically, this unholy alliance represents the difference between Classical Liberalism, in all its forms, and Classical Conservatism, ie, progressive conservatism … the former represented by the whole near-unanimous Court Westboro majority, the latter represented by most Americans’ gut-reaction to Westboro’s atrocities, and this ruling, more bad law, ie, incorrect law, from the Republican Courts and Party.

Learn about the ascendant hate groups and domestic terrorists from the  Southern Poverty Law Center, and support the SPLC.

And how did this case become merely about “privacy and emotional distress“?  The mourners’ lawyers should be disbarred for incompetence!  Were they law students?!  Was this one of those volunteer, workshop, law school projects they do???


Furthermore, does the ruling consider that funeral “privacy” only applies inside a building-of-worship, funeral parlor, chapel, mausoleum, etc.?  What about processions outdoors, burials, cemeteries, motorcades, even the going TO the funeral by the mourners — Some Protestant services even sacralize this with a “Gathering for Worship” recitation or song.  What about Neopagans, adherents of Indigenous religions, or other “outdoorsy” faiths, which might not often even USE a building with a real “indoors” component?  Obviously outdoor portions of a funeral share the vicinity with the neighbors, if any, of the funeral sites, so that’s presumed within Free Exercise.  I’m not sure being attacked, verbally assaulted, or finding yourselves involuntarily amid a political demonstration, controversy, or riot, especially one featuring offensive language, IS presumed within Free Exercise, except during times of Persecution of your freely-chosen (or -retained) religion … something the Court seems to endorse today, even its Fundies!  (Appropriate, I suppose, since their fellow Repugs drove the President out of the church of his choice, then complained he wasn’t Christian enough!  “I played you a tune but you did not dance, I sang you a dirge but you did not wail….”)

I’m willing to consider that baptisms/circumcisions, funerals, and weddings aren’t the same as routine religious services which might be invaded by hecklers urging you to change your religion.  I’m not sure though!  When I was a Quaker in the 1990s I admired George Fox and his Friends’ doing so in 17th-century Anglican and other Protestants’ “meetinghouses.”  Maybe they would’ve really converted  England if they’d just waited till after services, and stumped outside the buildings as the faithful were leaving!  But IIUC these Baptists aren’t recruiting, merely advocating for their ethical or political positions.  And often their protests seem aimed not at anyone present, except the newsmedia.  That’s just rude … Supremely rude.

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“We the Dollars, in order to form a more perfect Union…”

I’m DISGUSTED with all the money Democratic Party organizations and candidates and progressive groups now have to cravenly beg from me, to have a shot at making a showing in elections in this brave new Scalia/Citizens United world we’re forced to live in!  I guess Repugs like him think it’s a fair clawback for the personal government assistance some of us need … nevermind the Corporate Wealthfare you KNOW they’re now pouring through the floodgates.  That illegal, immoral ruling was “the mother of all Nuclear Options.”  Apparently “limited government” only applies when the GOP is out of power, and “originalism” and “judicial activism” and “legislating from the Bench” only when they’re IN power.

Naturally, we can’t hope to win the money race against our own Corporations, most rich people, and corrupt government officials/politicians, which is exactly how Scalia et al. timed this unprecedented procedural power-grab, a coup d’etat under color of law.

What can we do?

Actually, “conservative” support for Corporations attacks the culture, family,* tradition, family farms, small towns, etc., so they should be with us in trying to oppose this new trend by somehow MAKING CORPS.’ MONEY IRRELEVANT.

(*–As theologian Stanley Hauerwas pointed out a generation ago.)

Rural areas get plenty of Federal tax money

The point of the Commenter from Pennsylvania to this very informative post is well-taken.  The point of the rest is that rural Republican and tea-bag folks are hypocrites for denouncing others’ benefits “from the government teat.”  If they seceded, they’d collapse in just a few years.  The experience of the formerly-independent Dominion of Newfoundland is educational.

GOP Big Lies

“The Obama economic fix isn’t working.”

Right.  That’s why we’re not in the freefall the Republicans got us into and left us in / we threw their asses out over, which we were in until this plan kicked in.  Coincidence?  The economy is a somewhat complex machine (like a corporation, it’s not a person).  At the very least, it didn’t make things worse.  It didn’t create jobs?  You want corrupt (Republican) no-show “created jobs,” or somewhat ethical, legal government contracts that are focused, as they usually are, on accomplishing tasks, not creating jobs per se.  They clearly SAVED JOBS.  Did the President overstate or oversimplify?  Yeah, he does that; I wish he wouldn’t.  But same difference.

“Healthcare reform is about a government takeover.”

That’s why all anybody in Washington, Democrat or Repug, is talking about is money, money, money, no takeover.  *I* want a takeover, just like civilized nations have, like the UK and NOT Canada.  But on this I’m to the Left of the centrist Demos who mathematically should be in charge at this time by virtue of (unstolen) election.

How would I do a takeover?  Wellll…  Since corporations are creatures of the State [Hey, "Statist"! Real conservatives would strike out on their own without the legal figleaf of incorporation, like their pioneer ancestors on the Frontier! Oh, that's right, they stole that too....] created for some Public Good, I assert there’s no such thing really as “corporate property,” they’re just holding it in stewardship for the Chartering Sovereign, ie, the State in most cases in the U.S.  When the Public Good for which they were Chartered has been accomplished, or set on basically autopilot … OR they’ve turned the law on its head for their own enrichment and the project needs to be terminated or taken in hand … the State yanks their Charter, dissolves them or gives them to better stewards, or takes it over itself.  I figure between the bloodsucking, opportunistic, profiteering health insurance companies and HMOs … overcharging providers … mercenary, “ask your doctor” Big Pharma … vicious or spineless politicians … and even under-reimbursed good Medicare/Medicaid providers …  “politically” active / bribing Corporations all (or most) … (Have I forgotten anybody?) … I think I’m on good grounds here, don’t you?  Anyway, it’s cheaper than having to buy back our own Corporations from the people we Chartered only to have them leech from  us “for the Public Good.”  As a greater Mind than I said once, “They already have their reward.”

Otherwise, I can’t find out how the Brits actually engineered it after WW2 — eminent domain, purchase, dissolution?  But what’s wrong with socialized medicine, alongside

  • socialized police and fire protection,
  • socialized water and sewer,
  • socialized trash and garbage collection,
  • socialized primary and secondary education,
  • socialized electricity,
  • socialized roads and highways and bridges,
  • socialized national defense!,
  • socialized money (Oh, actually that’s privatized: See what a great job they’re doing with it?),
  • socialized Corporate Welfare/Wealthfare,
  • socialized farm subsidies,
  • socialized homesteading (Stolen: see above),
  • socialized airports,
  • socialized trade promotion,
  • socialized ports,
  • socialized Corporate industrial waste cleanup,
  • socialized diplomacy (sometimes),
  • socialized union-busting,
  • socialized religion and charity subsidies,
  • socialized technology subsidies (to get us caught-up with Europe and Japan!),
  • socialized tax loophole subsidies (Oh yes, there’s wealth redistribution … upward, not downward!),
  • socialized road signs,
  • substantially-socialized higher education (State universities, ROTC, CIA, etc.),
  • socialized parks and recreation centers,
  • socialized stadiums (and subsidized pro sports teams / Wealthfare),
  • socialized imperialism and war,
  • socialized Protestant evangelism (of American Indians and Alaska Natives, well into the 1900s) and catechesis (of public school children, also well into the 1900s),
  • etc etc etc.

So what’s so offensive about health care?

GOP health plan: Kill the sick.

Sure, that’ll save money … though only for the middle class and poor they’re taxing anyway!

As a Disabled person who, if God is patient with me, will be around to see the disaster (further) unfold … well, they’ll kill me.

I object.

Impeach Alito

…for pulling a lip-reader’s Joe Wilson during the State of the Union Address.  While the President added “with all due respect to the Separation of Powers,” “Justice” Alito, aka Scalito, did not.  That’s because Republicans like him don’t believe in the concept, at least politically.  Undisciplined immaturity is to be expected in a relative newby to the High Court; but some kids you just have to leave home with the 14-year-old sitter, can’t take ‘em anywhere, like to a Joint Session of Congress on live global television — they might pick their nose, or mouth rude comments to the grownups.

Understand this: Federal judges are not supposed to be politicians; Presidents are.  Obama could rip you up one side and down the other, Your Dishonor; you just sit there still and quiet like a man.  Anyway, what do you care?: you just handed Congress back to your party till the end of time — and the White House in two more years — so Obama’s agenda (whatever that was) is basically dead in the water.  You won’t even have to steal them anymore, just buy them!

Alito’s behavior actually blows the cover right off the GOP partisanship of the Court majority.  If Congress and the Court itself don’t discipline or censure Alito, maybe we need to impeach all 5 Repugs on the Court.  Or really make Obama like FDR, and threaten to appoint a couple more real jurists to that Court, to counterbalance the Reagan-Bush-Bush unConstitutional partisans.

Massachusetts “Upset”?

Did the Repugs steal Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat?  Why are the MSM calling their win an “upset,” after telling us 24/7 right before it how it was a tossup?  Election fraud investigators say if there’s an otherwise inexplicable spike in polling numbers in the final days before an election, something fishy may be going on.

Maybe the Senate needs to investigate before letting the Democratic substitute go and seating the GOP “winner.”  Or even pull one from the Repugs’ playbook and just seat Coakley like they did in their own favor in the House a couple years ago.  But after 8 years of Republican shenanigans, Obama, Coakley, et al. still practically fell over themselves to declare defeat — very strange.  If this is “socialism,” basically it’s the kind where there’s just one party, or token opposition, and the one party governs even when it’s not technically in office … and pours taxpayers’ money into corporations, fixes elections under sham democracy, etc etc etc.

Terror, Health care

How long have we been running from (alleged) terrorists and lacking healthcare?:

THE QUESTION IS MOOT!

(For the blogger’s actual video, go here though.)

PS: Like Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ puffy shirt and hair there in 1984!  It’s eerie how young she sounds, though.  And God be good to Gilda…

SEIU next for ACORNuts?

OK, this time it’s personal.  The Service Employees International Union is one of my labor unions, and they came to my aid when I was being targeted by management on the job apparently because I wasn’t enthusiastic enough about … well, that’d go off-topic. ;)

As tonight’s Rachel jag continues(!), she’s revealed that, thinking prematurely that they’ve run ACORN into the ground ["Unless a seed falls to the ground...!"], the Right Wing Conspiracy — Big Business, Big Lobbyists, astroturf, AM radio, the Republican Party — may target SEIU (video) next for teaming up with ACORN to try to make poor people’s and workers’ lives a little less awful.  How does this hurt them?  Business has to pay slightly higher wages, sharing their massive profits (often already subsidized by one or more levels of government one way or another) with THOSE WHO ACTUALLY DO THE WORK THAT CEOs AND OWNERS GET THE CREDIT FOR.

And these guys attack US for “class warfare”?!! or “revenge”?!!

And if her guest’s idea that soon they’ll attack the National Council of Churches too, sounds exaggerated…  Conservative Evangelical leaders have long considered this Mainline Protestant ecumenical organization Communist.  (The Catholic bishops’ conference, too, though that group has swung Hard Right as they smell a Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade, and in reaction against same-sex marriage.)  Furthermore, they’ve been dancing on the grave of the Mainline for about a generation now, even though it’s not really going away (even though many of the Mainline think it is too), and recent research suggests that the relatively slight gains of Evangelicals vs. Mainline proportionately, are only because Evangelical women/couples are adopting artificial contraception more slowly than Mainline women/couples.  The Evangelical ‘bulge’ (no pun intended) is already slowing, but will continue growing for about another generation before ISTM the numbers start returning to their classical proportions.  (This is research sociologist Andrew Greeley has been involved in, but where I read it I can’t recall now.  [Many Years, Father!])

Two other things: What they’re now calling living wage has sometimes been called family wage.  So much for “family values”!

And another Greeley truism is that Democratic bigwigs, candidates, campaigns, either take their Catholic voters for granted, or don’t care about/are embarrassed about them … risking losing them to the Reagans and Bushes of this world.  Are workers and unions in the same fix?  Just like Official Dems, natural allies of/advocates for “bitter” small town and rural residents, don’t give them reason to switch their generation-long Republican voting habits?  Folks, I don’t see WASP “Limo Libs” reproducing fast enough anymore to warrant such a cavalier attitude towards our Party’s traditional coalition, the “Patchwork Quilt Majority”!!!  And many People of Color who get richer go Republican….

De-funding ACORN Unconstitutional

…as Rachel Maddow (video) documents.

BTW, re-fund ACORN via their website!

(Type carefully, or like I almost did, you might end up at the shiny new website of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese — force of habit!!)

When they attack Obama, they attack America.

That’s right.  One has the right to disagree with healthcare reform, though it seems irrational to me to do so.  But to fundamentally question Obama’s Presidency is to seek to overturn the 2008 Election just because they disagree with the outcome.  That’s sour grapes, breaking the rules of majoritarian democracy.  Has he succeeded in doing anything he didn’t “promise” to do in getting elected?  Arguably he has gone back on several promises already.  In any case, it’s too soon, 8 months into a new Administration, lacking High Crimes and Misdeeds (not that they ever get prosecuted anyway … only sex).  These attacks are driven by something less political than anti-constitutional, anti-democratic, racist, deceptive (fake “grassroots” incited, recruited, planned, and bankrolled by Big Business, Big Lobbyists, etc.), libelous (probably actionable), etc.  Unlike 2000 and 2004, there are no serious accusations that Barack Obama was not the choice of both a majority of the voters or intended voters last Election Day, and of the Electoral College.  Attacking his very being President, then, without grounds as I have said, is attacking America, democracy, the Constitution, the rule of law, the voting majorities of Nov. 4.

Just like they did with President Clinton.

That’s right: They now believe no Democratic Party member can ever ‘legitimately’ be President.  They persecuted Clinton, they kept out elected Presidents Gore and Kerry, and it seems they will persecute Obama.

Just so we’re clear what’s going on here.

And when they openly bring guns to political rallies and public meetings, they mean to threaten democracy itself.

THAT is Fascism.

Teabaggers invade DC, MSM, and make fools of selves

Yup, Yup, they really covered themselves with glory….  More fun photos and video here.

The kinds of minds we’re dealing with here are hinted at by the LA Times, as well as the conflicting accusations that our first democratically-elected President in 8 years is a socialist AND a fascist!  Unless he suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder?!?!?!

Nevermind that if WE’D pulled stuff like this astroturf “Tea Party/Secession” movement during the previous 8 years, we’d have been labeled traitors!  (Oh, that’s right, we WERE.  “You collect the punishment but you can’t commit the sin….”)  Have they forgotten there’s 2 wars on?  Talk about “aid and comfort to the enemy”!!! ;)

I wonder if any of them brought their machine guns, like in Arizona?  If that ain’t a catastrophe waiting to happen … or an assassination … I don’t know what is.  It also reminded me of armed KKK or SS thugs trying to put down or intimidate public demonstrations.

One sign I saw noted 80-some percent of Americans are satisfied with their health coverage.  They’re deluding themselves, but anyway, healthcare reform isn’t about the 80 percent, but the 20, OK?  Somehow they missed that….

But when I saw that poster of Obama in whiteface with a big red smile drawn on way too big for his face and the word “Fascism,” just like the Abu Ghraib sex-torture photos, I realized the “Culture War” is now over and civilization has won.  It’s all over but the screaming.  I refuse to continue in a Culture War with an unarmed opponent!

Palin has no future

…politically, despite every national-media stunt in the world, even a tell-all book about her ten weeks in the dimming Arctic sun(?), unless she gets some of what the kids call “game.”  Have we already forgotten that her relative inexperience is why so many McCain backers and other Republicans (and others, even racists and disappointed Hilary-backers) couldn’t bring themselves to vote for that ticket in the end?  Resigning early from her one term as governor of one of the least-populous and remotest states in the Union [Federation, actually], even so long before she could run for Congress next November, is a major miscalculation if she still wants “in” with national politics in the near or mid-term future.  Especially going out under a cloud of more than a dozen-and-a-half ethics charges.  It’s chutzpah, really.  Leaving office shouldn’t absolve her of any impropriety she might be responsible for anyway … unless Alaska is more lawless or politically inbred than I realized.

BTW, after she shamelessly subjected her eldest daughter to national exposure for her “youthful indiscretion” as a political stunt, she’s one to upbraid Dave Letterman for, yes, a tasteless joke, as it turned out unknowingly against her middle daughter.  But blood is thicker than water, and I don’t know that Willow, an innocent minor, is truly what we journalists call a public figure, so Dave stepped on a rake and got whacked in the face.  Shrug.

And for saying she wants to campaign for “conservative” Democrats, ie, against rational Republicans [if there are any left in America], the GOP that made her such a sensation so recently should break her, just like we ditched Joe Lieberman for the same reason.  Freedom of speech and expression are one thing, but if you take the Party’s coin (or wardrobe!!) you have to sing its tune at least a little while.  It’s not like the Repugs have gotten reason yet after their big blowout, if Rush ‘I Hope America Fails’ Limbaugh and Co. are any indication … so that Sarah would feel betrayed by them.  Near as I can tell they’re still in goose-step together, the Party of Racism, Recession, Corruption, Illegal Spying, Arab Oil, Global-Warming Devastation, Nuking Iran, “Liberal”-Conspiracy Theories, Stolen Elections, Government-Supported “Conservative” Religion, and Anti-Latina.

Cui bono, guys and girl?  Certainly not your voters!

Hypocrisy on Sotomayor

One thing Judge Sotomayor’s defenders won’t say is that it’s OK with her critics for a Rich White Conservative Republican Man to bring his life experience and its insights to his job, in fact it’s expected.  But not a Latina Democrat from The Projects, even if Poppy Bush himself (not Papi!) nominated her to the Bench!  That’s because we all know who’s really in charge in this country and who isn’t, “that damned piece of paper” to the contrary notwithstanding!

Thank goodness Minnesota’s Republicans let Senator Sixty — er, Franken! — finally go to Washington, and just in time!

BUSH-SPY-GATE

Bush crimes have continued under the nose of America and Obama?  Everyone responsible, in both Administrations, should be locked up for life, no parole, for threatening the country, our safety, and the rule of law.

It’s not “revenge,” it’s criminal justice.

Republican Treason on Iran

Whenever most of us questioned de facto GW Bush’s foreign policy abortions, partisan Republicans accused of us “undermining the Commander-in-Chief [of the Armed Forces],” treason, appeasement, “hating America,” blah blah blah.  But now it’s OK for them to do the same with President Obama?*  Excuse me, but someone who lived in the Muslim World some years — as a civilian — and even has Muslim relatives, might have a little more insight into the matter than Red State farmboys on The Hill … or even Blue State politically-correct cosmopolitans for that matter.  (Awful stereotypes, both, of course…)  Even someone driven out of the church of his choice by the GOP!  (So much for “No Religious Test for holding any office under this Constitution”!)  This from the folks who seriously talked about nuking Iran … or having Israel do it?!  So much for the Myth of Republican Foreign Policy Expertise….

(*–Some MSM still feel the need to call him “President Barack Obama,” like he’s some foreign leader we’ve never heard of or something!!)

New Repug boss wants to be “Hip-Hop” Mussolini

I swear!  “Make the trains run on time“?!!!  “One-armed midgets”?!!  “Off the hook”: Does that mean he won’t answer his phone?  We can only hope….

Of course, the Republican Party isn’t “in the crapper.”  They just feel like they are because they don’t have (obvious) absolute power for the moment, like they have for most of the last 28 years.  But that’s true not because of “PR” or a dearth of young, Hispanic, or Black “messengers” in Virginia and North Carolina, but because they put THIS COUNTRY, INDEED, THE WORLD, IN THE CRAPPER, INCLUDING YOUNG PEOPLE, HISPANICS, BLACKS, NATIVE AMERICANS, WOMEN, AND EVERYBODY ELSE, INCLUDING THEMSELVES!!!  (Ever hear of cutting off your nose to spite your face?)

To think it’s PR, that substance doesn’t matter, is the ultimate in self-serving cynicism.  It’s kind of like Big Tobacco getting us hooked all those years they knew they were killing us.  Or Big Energy “putting lipstick on a pig,” pretending to be “green” — Please, “Clean Coal”?!!!  Hitler* had Goebbels and Riefenstahl, PR geniuses, “hip” messages and state of the art, and even held on for a while; but win or lose, they were equally wrong.

They’re gonna do “beyond cutting edge”?  That worries me, after a decade of stolen elections, stolen airwaves, stolen bookstore shelves, stolen bandwidth, stolen cable TV space, stolen newspapers, hijacked websites and campaigns, lies, racism, sexism, pseudo-religious bigotry, lock-step churches, wedge pseudo-issues, government funding of “conservative” religion, corruption we haven’t even begun to investigate and prosecute and fine and jail, one or maybe even two fake wars with real casualties, etc etc etc.  If we thought we could rest a little after 12:01pm EST Jan. 20, we may have been sorely mistaken.  Like the man said, I guess democracy and justice really do demand eternal vigilance.

Maybe the GOP picked this loon because his last name sounds like steal….

This new ad campaign is gonna look like that tokenist national convention they had in 2004, where just about the only People of Color were on-stage in front of the cameras.  “Hip-hop” Repugs, can you imagine?!  They won’t touch us.  Now, if they cared about more than just the votes of youth, Blacks, and Hispanics, etc., we might be seriously worried.  But all they really want to do is make their next big stolen election look credible where folks don’t typically vote GOP — that’s what really concerns me.

(*–Don’t blame me, he started it by quoting Mussolini!)

Remember Next November

… in 2010 … who the Republicans voted to bail-out, and who they told ‘Drop Dead.’  They were OK with letting crooked bankers rob us blind, but when it came to union auto workers and the rest of America, they thumbed their noses, except Senators Specter, Snowe (an Orthodox Christian!), and Collins.

Yes, the GOP is as amenable to “bipartisanship” in opposition as they were in so-called leadership.  Why should WE?!!  They march in goose-step, hoping with Rush Limbaugh that America goes down like the Titanic … apparently even McCain, Mr. Conciliatory, is celebrating the Depression.  (‘Why do “conservatives” hate America?’)  Not hurting THEM too much, is it!  I’ll take a “Limousine Liberal” over a hypocritical, self-declared “Compassionate Conservative” any day!!!

In the interest of Full Disclosure, apparently I’m going to get a few more dollars in Food Stamps, and that one-time $250 lump-sum in my SSI/Disability (which will probably claw-back the Food Stamps!  Talk about taking from Peter to pay … well … Peter!).  Again, frankly, most individual beneficiaries of Bailout 2.0 are gonna sock it away in the bank and not “Go shopping” like us pobres who have NEEDS, so really, it would’ve done more good going more to us.  But then, apparently not even Specter, Snowe, and Collins, as Repugs, could stomach that.  And Specter comes from Philly….  With friends like him….  But hey, where else are we gonna get the money to pay your “Eat the poor,” upward-transfer taxes, eh?!!!  Wages?  Lotto?  Dean Graziosi?!

Detroit Bailout: A Modest Proposal

How about if Washington bails-out Ford, GM, and Chrysler (How many times do we get to bail-out Chrysler?!!) the way it bailed-out the TV-makers?  Ban all existing motor vehicles from the road as of February, and allow only new Fords, GMs, and Chryslers from then on!  Congress can even give out coupons to help folks “make the transition.”

:|

(OTOH, it’d be great for Global Warming, improving our oil-independence, and we could dump the used cars on China and India so they don’t have to manufacture new ones for a while, helping their greenhouse emisions and our economics simultaneously – get back some of our money and “paper” from them!  Hmmm…!)

PS: Isn’t it weird that Repugs, including W., are OK with bailing-out banks and bankers and speculators, but not Union-dominated / Blue-State Ford, GM, and Chrysler?  Hmmm….

Obama’s campaign money

No small bit was made of what seemed like gillions of dollars the Obama Presidential Campaign had raised and spent on staffing, advertising, etc., especially opting out of federal campaign financing and limits — all as if a Democrat had displaced the Republicans awash in money from their wealthy and large individual and business donors.  But according to Obama’s people, McCain/Palin and the national GOP had 20 million more than Obama/Biden and the Democratic National Committee as of October 15.  Just to set the record straight.

Let Democrats be Democrats

After all, they didn’t elect us because we’re Republicans, but because we’re Democrats, right?  If they wanted Republicans, they would’ve elected Republicans, right?  Even the Republicans were calling for “change” from the way things have been going; so logically, it was a question of whose “change” the voters wanted, right?  And it was ours, not the Republicans’.

By all means, let’s try to bring as many Republican lawmakers on-board as reasonably possible — that could only be better.  But if we ourselves end up changing into Republicans, then haven’t we betrayed those who voted us in?

How many Republican members of Congress have become Democrats, literally or figuratively, since they came to power in ’94, huh?  Only two or three, right?  They didn’t betray their voters, so how can we betray ours?

In any case, hasn’t President-elect Obama shown us we don’t need those rich and corporate campaign donors and lobbyists???

E-voting “malfunctions”?

When it happens repeatedly, is it a “malfunction,” or is it performing EXACTLY AS PROGRAMMED?!?!?!  The first law of computer programming: Garbage In, Garbage Out = GIGO.

Funny, I haven’t seen complaints of attempted votes for McSame being accidently recorded for Obama/Biden … just like in ’04!

Just because it seems to record a vote for Obama ONCE after many, many tries, does that guarantee that that vote will “stick,” or that it won’t happen to the next user, or a subsequent user, of that machine?  Modern science says a result must be repeatable … even computer science!  (Yes, I know it’s easy to forget computers are supposed to be actually scientific…!)

Virtual Poll Tax disenfranchises lower-class voters

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s nickname for overlong lines at polling places.  I seem to remember allegations that these were sometimes engineered in Ohio in ’04 by Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell in Democratic precincts, by assigning them busted voting machines….

5 GOP dirty tricks to keep Dems from voting

Voter Fraud

…is not at all a serious problem in this country on a national scale, and never has been.  Hype about it is a mere Republican and/or racist / bigoted scare tactic, ‘red meat,’ or worse: a way to take away our rights and freedoms, suppress votes, not to mention waste taxpayer dollars “investigating” it and setting up complicated systems to “prevent” it, which work like polar bear repellant: “Haven’t seen one around here in years.  It must be working!”

Welfare accountability

Why do Republicans think there’s no accountability on Welfare, Assistance, etc.?  How many of them have ever been on it??  Since 2000 I’ve been on General Assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and SSI/Disability (not all at the same time), and been turned down for Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability.  I’d also worked for a couple years helping other people try to get help from various governments and other agencies, so I knew what I was doing.  The questions they ask, the re-asking every few months to a year, the unreasonable rejections, the unhearing appeals….  Haven’t they even heard of the Intrusive Social Worker? — it’s so common it’s a stereotype!!!  There are few secrets, and little dignity left when you’re done.

I think this may be an example of something Ronald Reagan kicked into high gear, Government-by-Anecdote.  Sure, a few people game the system, and DA’s like to trot out the accused Welfare Queens with three Rolls Royces and such.  But probably government loses more money each year from rich folks and businesses gaming the system than people on various forms of Assistance!  Welfare Cheats vs. Tax Cheats?  You do the math!

When politicians or their surrogates trot out negative examples, suspect that there’s an agenda, and deception, going on.  Ask for total numbers, credible statistics, before collectively punishing all of us for the relatively-insignificant sins of the few.

McCain on Obama’s 30-minute commercial

Getting caught-up here, but if McCain can’t even tell the truth about the timing of the World Series — it WAS NOT affected by Obama’s commercial, as any regular viewer of baseball on Fox TV could have told him  —  and if McCain can’t accept the “market forces” or “free enterprise” that allowed Obama to air it, McCain is clearly not ready for prime time … just Leno and Saturday Night Live, real “celebrity” that he is!!!  Apparently market forces and free enterprise are only for SOME Americans, not all of us: rich, White, Republican, conservative, corporatist, anti-constitutionalist, above-the-law, etc. etc. etc.

Exit Poll plan

All networks’ “experts” locked up together all day Tuesday, no leaksI smell a coverup.  Collusion.  Probably in favor of the Republicans who sign their paychecks.  They sound more concerned about their own embarassment than about the shredding of the Constitution and of the Rule of Law.  But no, millions of us ‘just misunderstood, didn’t know’ in 2000 and ’04, we’re all just ‘too dumb.’  Well, we’re not too dumb to know when the wool is being pulled over our eyes; when formally published, supposedly complete exit poll data change before our eyes.

Why only one exit poll, anyway?  This is like the lazy science we’re also increasingly subjected to, where one experiment is considered proof of something new.  Every experiment should be duplicated before publication — isn’t that what they told us in elementary school? — and every poll should be too, preferably by someone else.

Increasingly in this country, voting becomes a ‘religious’ act: we do the right thing even if it might not have any effect in this space and time, simply because it’s right, even if McCain eerily predicts a ‘miraculous’ comeback, like W. swearing Jeb promised him Florida in ’00, and Mr. E-voting pledging to deliver him Ohio in ’04.

So get ready for every excuse in the book: imperfect election systems, imperfect voting devices, lost ballots, imperfect ballots, not enough voting devices, lying Whites, cheating Blacks and Hispanics and Democrats and liberals, massive last-minute shifts in opinion, Republican judges and Justices, elite losers’ “civil right to a presumption of victory,” imperfect vote-counting devices, illiterate Democrats, analysts’ stupidity, yada yada yada.

But do the right thing anyway.  Even if McCain and the Repugs steal it again, “God who sees in secret will reward you.”  And He will not let us suffer all the way until He returns again in Glory….  “‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Maybe it’d be better if we had a warm-weather change of government, rather than in the dead of winter, November-January, when people are less apt to come out and protest a coup d’etat in Washington and most of the rest of the country….  Elections just before Memorial Day, Inauguration Columbus Day weekend perhaps, also leaving more time, enough time to make sure the election was done right?

For change, vote for the Same?!

They’re even politicizing Halloween!

Is this what we have to look forward to in a Bush/McCain/Palin America???  Punishing babes for their parents’ freely-chosen, legal (for now!) views and votes and associations?  Good thing Jesus isn’t so picky!

Of course, her use of the word handouts underlines who she thinks deserves them: not those who need them, but only those who don’t, like herself and other rich folks and Big Business: wealthfare not welfare.

In reality, her denial also to “liars and tricksters” would rule out her own candidates, McCain and Palin, too!!!

Just like they’ve politicized the public airwaves, “fair and balanced” journalism, even Christianity as a religion.  Then they complain about “the tone in Washington” … the tone they instilled there!!!  (In reality, “democratic” republics do tend to politicize everything; nothing is sacred, everything’s a political football, nothing is presumed — except militarism.)

The American people really should turf this party or sect for a whole generation, like the Israelites in the desert who weren’t allowed to see the Promised Land after worshipping the Golden Calf.  This all-consuming partisanship isn’t politics at all, it’s not give-and-take for the Common Good, it’s just corruption.

As for “Trick or Treat,” the traditional penalty for not treating the kiddies used to be having your property or car TP’ed, egged, vandalized, etc.  There’s a “traditional value” that maybe should be brought back, at least in this one case!!!  Seriously, it arguably constituted community regulation of undesirable behavior, community promotion of generosity and not being so tight-fisted or close-minded or un-neighborly.  Of course, with today’s corrupt, egotistical individualism, we’re not allowed to do things like that anymore, neither from the left nor the right.  Mixed blessing, eh?!

As for her putting GOP campaign flyers in kids’ treats (isn’t that redundant, since she only wants to preach to the choir?), I’d no more want them in my kids’ bags than (literal) poison or razor blades or needles: I consider Republican propaganda these days to be that dangerous and unhealthy, especially to the young.  I wouldn’t want my kids’ brains polluted with such filth and selfishness and heresy!

Why don’t they just go back to protesting the existence of Halloween at all, like good Fundamentalists!  LEAVE OUR KIDS ALONE!!!!!

And so the “glitches” begin.

…according to several stories I read on my phone while IBS’ing in a supermarket bathroom last night.  (On a related note, Donna Brazile tells it like it is!)

And the Repugs have so little confidence in their Indiana Jim Crow voter-i.d. law that they want to play judicial games now?  Disingenuous.  “Dishonorable.”

But PLEASE, don’t let them suppress your vote.  Go.  Vote.  Take or borrow a cell phone.  If they try to make trouble for you, go to http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/vpcreport and tell the Obama campaign about it IMMEDIATELY.  UPDATED Sun 2 November: And/Or call the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition — http://www.866ourvote.org/ — toll-free at 1-866-OUR-VOTE, and/or use their website to report “glitches.”  Call the number for you LOCAL Democratic Party in the phone book and tell them.  Call the local TV and radio news departments.  If you have a liberal radio talk show in your market, call them too.

I swear, the Democrats better not leave GOP shenanigans to the Greens and Libertarians THIS time!

“Social justice is a matter of life and death”

Speaking of Canada, some reports out up there and elsewhere suggest maybe we all need more than a little dose of “socialism.”  As someone else put it, “The rich get richer, and the poor get sick” … AND DIE EARLY!  Even in Toronto.  Although they haven’t had a true progressive federal government up there in decades….

It’s called The Common Good, people.  You ARE your brother’s keeper: Genesis 4:9Remember the Rich Man and Lazarus: Luke 16: 19-31.  And the Last Judgment: Matthew 25: 31-46.

New Exodus to Canada?! (satire)

A droll piece purporting to be from a Manitoba newspaperPLEASE!!!  VOTE FIRST, THEN  SPLIT!!!  I know it’ll be a month colder up there, but we can’t give up YET, and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!!!  Besides, I’m disabled, I’d never make it, even if I was an English major!!! ;)

Then again, if Palin’s gonna get away with hinting about Rep. “Uncle” Barney Frank as a pedophile*….  Race-baiting, pedo-baiting, Red Scare / McCarthyism (I don’t mean Jenny!), bigotry, woeful judgment, a hot temper and violence, questionable health, corporatocracy, potential PTSD, faked assaults — If we let them steal this one, it might be hard to get it back from them.  So much for your vaunted rights and freedoms, “inventory and investments”**….  :(

(*–Honestly, that’s right up there with Dick Armey’s “Barney Fag” — as if a guy named Dick Armey has any right to talk!)

(**–Yeah, that’s Joe the Plumber, “inventory and investments”!  TOTALLY OUT OF TOUCH AND OUT OF CONTROL!)

Politics roundup

McCain above his own law?

Apparently the campaign that’s calling us “socialists” and “communists” wants Russian money for itself?!  So much for the McCain-Feingold “maverick” Repug!

BTW, it shows what kind of people they are when they put down as socialism and communism, what many of us consider basic Christianity!

McCain and Repugs scream theft?

They charge Democrats and our supporters are stealing the election, and sue us?  That’s rich, and a classic case of misdirection, like sleight-of-hand magicians, considering McCain and the Republicans are publicly in the process of trying to prevent millions of us Democrats, poor, people of color, students, Blue-Staters, city residents, etc., from voting — AND privately, most assuredly rigging the e-voting machines or e-counting machines for good measure.  These are all repeats from 2000 and 2004, and possibly ’02 and ’06 too.

Lately we’re hearing that racist voters might lie to pollsters about their willingness, or not, to vote for Obama, excusing a discrepancy between pre-election surveys and the reported results or exit polls.  Is the re-surfacing of talk about this “Bradley Effect” preparing us for another stealth coup d’etat?  Nevermind that there might not have even been a Bradley Effect!  Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, a Black man, ran for Governor of California in 1982, and led going into Election Day, but lost, inspiring this Bradley Effect theory.  But some analysts I’ve read (I can’t locate where now) say that since both his lead and his defeat were within the polls’ margin of error, the Effect may be an illusion.  So beware allegations of an Obama Effect in coming weeks before and after Election Day!  It’ll be like in Ohio in ’04, when we were told that Republican voters intentionally lied to pollsters or refused to respond, producing the “glitch” that seemed to say W. carried that State’s election results, and the whole enchilada.  Was John Kerry Black?!?!?!

(Reminds me of the line in The Commitments about a Dublin, Ireland, soul band: “The Irish are the Blacks of Europe.  Dubliners are the Blacks of Ireland.  Northsiders are the Blacks of Dublin.  So say it loud: I’m Black and I’m proud!“)

Vote Suppression ’08 UPDATE

Campaign Roundup

Please, you guys, Ayers / Wright is so old, learn a new tune, eh?  Either they don’t have much else to push on us, or they think just getting out their “base” will be enough on Election Day.  What do they know that we don’t?  Is it already “in the bag,” like 2000 and ’04?!!!  Election integrity, please!!!  And watch those polls from here on in for fudging both by pollsters and MSM.

Electoral College tally based on said polls looks good for America so far!  Remember it’s the Electors who elect … and we elect them.

Palin going to court … or so it looks, in connection with her “unlawful abuse of power” in Troopergate and possibly other matters.  It seems Wooten and Monegan want their reputations back, or just compensation.  It’s nice to see politicians being held accountable for their personal lies and abuses once in a blue moon!  I think if public figures defended their good names in court more, it might help clean-up our political discourse, which has been in the gutter since Reagan / Falwell / Robertson.  NOW I bet we’ll find out the meaning of IS!!!

De jure 44th President of the United States John Kerry isn’t just a hockey parent, he PLAYS hockey.  Did Comcast ever have him drop the puck at a Philadelphia Flyers game back in ’04?  It’s just Big Business, corporations, and Republican partisanship.

Political Roundup

Is a rich, powerful White politician like McCain in any position to tell Congressman John Lewis who does or doesn’t remind him of George Wallace and put him in fear of increased racist violence?  Is McCain a mind-reader?

Alaskans rally against Palin!

Palin illegally abuses powers in Troopergate and possibly another matter.  Isn’t 8 years of abuse of power in the Oval Office enough?!  “Political” investigation?  Yeah: BOTH parties in Alaska’s Legislature did it!  How about her expense-abuse and persecution of rape victims?

Who scares you more in the Oval Office, Palin or Obama, OK?!!  At least Obama has Federal, national, and international experience; Palin barely has State-level experience.

A dozen more people for McCain and/or Palin to denounce / repudiate….  And a more poignant look at Palin’s continuing connection with secessionists, from Bobby Kennedy Jr.  (The AIP’s citing of the UN Charter and international law is quite laughable to me as a Native American; maybe if it that party wasn’t so White….)

“Palling around with terrorists” charge is racist … against Arabs.  I think this is only for the Hard Right “base,” not to flip “independents” or such.  So many of them think because Obama has an Arabic name [Named after his father: Can't get much more "family values" than that!!], he’s a Muslim, so the “terrorists” they first think Palin is referring to are Arab / Muslim, not somebody who belonged to a radical American group when Obama was all of eight years old, and went on to become a respected educator.  McCain is little help when his audiences call Obama an Arab, acting like “Arab” is an insult or something bad!!!  As if Arab men aren’t “family men,” to use McCain’s expression?

A “hockey mom” only briefly, and many years ago?  That tells me what she’s doing is a carefuly-crafted false image for sheer political purposes.  Many politicians do it, of course, but to pollute a hockey game with it by letting her drop the puck is unforgiveable to hockey fans like me!  Of course, pro sports is just another business, teams are corporations.

My mother recently asked me what was the deal with Palin’s “betcha’s” and Slurvian droppin’ of final G’s.  Apparently she’s lyin’, pretendin’, and fear-mongerin’.  Just what we need, another “acting President“!

Rage rising on McCain campaign trail,” fear they’ll lose.  (Even though we know they’ll steal it again!)

“Negative ads”? “Attack ads”?  I think we have to stop equating factual criticism ads with lying, deceiving, or exaggerating ads.  I haven’t heard a single truly negative ad for Obama yet.  (Although somebody in my house usually mutes them on TV!)  OTOH I’ve never heard such a pile of stinking manure as we’re being subjected to from the McCain/Palin camp, so often, so many ways, so constantly.

GOP borrow-and-spend, engineered fiscal crises

The Republicans like to run against Democrats by calling us “tax-and-spend liberals.”  They also pretend to fiscal restraint and conservatism, competence and responsibility, supposedly in contrast to us.  What’s become clearer to more and more Americans in the last 28 years is just how untrue this all is.

Anybody who gets into power in government has political or financial ‘debts’ to pay, support to buy, punishment to mete out, interests of their own to pursue, maybe even once in a while sincere attempts to do the right thing.  We Democrats are supposedly averse to cutting programs – for the rich as well as for the poor – because we’re softies, or usually feel sensitive to cross-aisle criticism with an eye on re-election.  In fact Democrats in Congress are frequently brutalized into cutting programs for the poor, rarely for the rich.  But when we want to do more, we’re generally honest about the cost, and try to “pay as you go.”  It’s cheaper that way: no years of interest piling up.  But it’s politically costly unless it’s a ‘home run,’ and national Democrats haven’t hit many of those since the ’60s and ’70s.

Republicans, OTOH, have figured out a neat way to spend what they want.  They borrow the money, cynically put the government, ie, you and me, into debt to finance their grand schemes usually for the rich and business, stockholders I mean – certainly not workers who do the work!  This may be called BORROW-AND-SPEND.  It ingeniously separates the issue of the proposal from the issue of paying for it, by years.  And their beneficiaries are very grateful, and show it.  Doubt me?  Reagan was a master at it; the fact that Clinton left office with a huge surplus was little short of a miracle.  But just as fast, W. and Co. have put us back into a deep hole with no bottom in sight.

But surely the chickens come home to roost eventually, you say?  So much the better from the Republican perspective.  Fiscal crisis makes it politically easier for them to get away with cutting help for the poor, needy, and workers; they’re definitely not softies.  Also, by the time crisis comes, all that accumulated debt is just a huge dollar sign, and they can make us forget what it was for.  “Certainly we have to pay our debts,” they say, and everybody agrees.  “But if we overtax the rich and businesses, they’ll leave us in the lurch.”*  And so our already-regressive tax system goes into a higher gear, hitting the poor and workers even more, while their rich, powerful friends remain grateful, and keep on showing it.  To add insult to injury, the GOP now gets an undeserved reputation for fiscal restraint and responsibility.  IT’S PURE POLITICS, SMOKE AND MIRRORS, BAIT-AND-SWITCH.  More recently, they “create facts on the ground,” getting us into wars that benefit mostly nobody but their contractor buddies; now it’s, “We can’t leave that country in a mess, can we?”

There’s a place for borrowing by government: needs such as capital construction or repair or purchase, or emergencies.  But Republicans borrow excessively, at least at the federal level.  In effect they SPEND-AND-TAX: They tax future generations!  That means interest on top of the initial (unworthy) cost.

This habit of theirs actually undermines two foundational principles of English/American democratic government: The people may not be taxed without the consent of their legislative representatives, aka, “Taxation without representation is tyranny**;” and, No legislature may bind a future legislatureDebt-abuse taxes future generations unnecessarily without their advance consent.  And it binds future legislatures to tax, to pay for this unnecessary debt.  Historically these principles are on a level with the Magna Carta, and ought to be considered more weightily than they have been in recent decades, especially by the GOP as it claims a “conservative” and “small government / anti-government” mantle … unless these too are just blowing smoke.

(*–What an undermining of our sovereignty!!  That’s treason!)

(**–Although there are certainly worse forms of tyranny!)

Rolling Stone: The truth about McCain, Palin

…and on the U.S. political system as a whole (no pun intended).  For Palin, see both the mythbusting list on this page and the perceptive Matt Taibbi rant linked from the top of it.  Highlights include Abramoff, earmarks, pork, Alaska’s highest taxes, Alaska’s highest federal spending, Wasilla being Alaska’s meth capital, etc.

They also now have up top there the newer issue’s McCain expose.  I have to go to bed, but get a load of this just one page one:

…Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. “McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man,” Dramesi says today. “But he’s still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.”

McCAIN FIRST

This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather.

In its broad strokes, McCain’s life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers’ powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives’ evangelical churches.

In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot.

Bitter? Hell yes!

At least according to this guy and this guy, who claim to know better than I.  Will the MSM cover it?  Pretty much, NOT!  (WARNING: Strong language.)

(BTW: I can tag “white trash” and “poor white trash” because that’s my own background, understand?  Same with the others down there.  It’s just that my background isn’t small-town.)

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

Sarah Palin, I hear,* emphasized little else in her debate with Joe Biden last night than how she’s just like the people watching at home.  Maybe because she’s not?!!!: a young hot White rural Fundamentalist** businesswoman and petty politician***?  America’s alot more diverse than that, and always has been, but Republicans either don’t want to admit that, or want to make us all “petty White Fundamentalist businesspeople.”

In any case, the White House has been run by people “just like us” for 28 years, and look at the mess we’re in.  Maybe “people like us” aren’t qualified to be the federal government’s Chief Executive!  Maybe what’s important isn’t “who I’d like to have a beer with,” but who’s competent, experienced, leaderly, brave, law-abiding, socially just and compassionate, a smidge of political savvy to get the right thing done, “reality-based,” stuff like that.

(*–I didn’t watch or listen.  I find my patience for the drawn-out process is wearing thin.  It’s been clear for me what this nation needs since 2000, especially U.S. Constitution Memorial Day: 12/12/00!)

(**–Actually pentecostal, Assemblies of God.  Do we have any video or audio of her “speaking in tongues”?!  “slain in the Spirit”? — How about that during a national crisis … and while McCain’s post-traumatic under the Lewinsky desk?!!!  How about her delivering “a word of prophecy”?  At least W. doesn’t claim that when he gets foreign policy directives from the Almighty!!!)

(***–Petty in both senses of the word, clearly and sadly.)

Republicans bailin’ on failin’ Palin

McCain, as his first executive act, nominated for vice-president, someone who would succeed, in the event of vacancy or even temporary incapacity (like PTSD stemming from his vaunted 5 years in Hanoi), someone who not all doctors agree will be around four whole years (only “most doctors,” even according to a campaign spokesman) — nevermind the possibility of impeachment or resignation — a clueless Fundamentalist* chosen only to shore-up his party’s political base, seduce non-Republican women voters, and some men by her physical appearance.

While we’re questioning Sarah Palin’s qualifications for vice-president or president, let’s question McCain’s too.

(*–Not that all Fundamentalists are clueless, or as clueless as Palin.)

New Bushie ‘Business Plot': Take Bailout Money and Run

It looks like Democratic leaders in Congress, and the MSM, are prepared to let them, too.  Here’s the details, and here’s a little different perspective.

I believe that “no review” provision is unconstitutional.  It comes from arrogant “conservatives” who propose using Congress’ power to delineate Federal courts’ jurisdiction, to exclude altogether pet projects like anti-flag-burning, public school prayer, anti-abortion, anti-pornography, etc etc etc.  But that’s at best a misunderstanding, at worst a vile perversion, of the provision, otherwise Congress could just explicitly exclude ALL its laws from judicial review, and do whatever it wants, the Constitution be damned.  But this power has never been seriously interpreted this way by Congress or the Courts.  Every act of the legislative or executive branches has to be reviewable judicially, even if just to say “It’s a political matter” or “It’s a Constitutional Amendment” (which would be obvious of course), “they’re allowed.”  If Congress (and the White House) sought to exclude a new bill from review by existing courts, they would be required to establish a new court just for that bill (like FISA), or designate State courts or something.  We can’t have NO review!

And a dictatorship of the Treasury Secretary, who works for the President?  Please!  I don’t see these powers granted in the Constitution.  Congress spends money.

As for the artificiality of the current “crisis,” you just know these guys were sitting around one day saying to each other, “What’ll they do, let us go under, and take the economy with us?!!”  This may be the culmination of W.’s “planned train wreck,” to totally “discredit” government by ballooning the deficit (incl. erasing the Clinton / Democratic surplus!), instigating a reaction to “shrink government small enough to drown it in a bathtub.”  (Of course, it all started with the Revolution of the Colonial Ruling Elites against The Crown and legitimate traditional government….)  They scream about “handouts” to us who are needy, but demand this total governmental giveaway to predatory corporations and the rich?!!!  This is right up there with trying to abolish Habeas Corpus and spy on us without a warrant.  And for the Democrats to just roll over and play dead on this when they have the majority in Congress would be a mortal sin.  RED states may not be buying it, but will they take that outrage to the polls in November and thrash the GOP that brought it on them?

Again, I have to wonder how much of this “bailout” money will find its way into Repug campaign coffers, or perhaps the corporate paychecks of Bush officials if they leave office in January?

Just more Republican “borrow-and-spend” “voodoo economics”!!!

They should call you MADAME YUP.

I’m surprised nobody else has jumped on this, after her People interview.  Maybe The Man Called FLINTSTONE (as it happens, being released in time for Xmas!) made more of an impression on me than generally!

The Man Called FLINTSTONE was a feature-length Flintstones cartoon spoof of James Bond and similar movies.  “The Man” comes from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (as it happens, supposedly being released in stores as we speak!).  (In fact a couple of us remembered the title as The Man from F.L.I.N.T.S.T.O.N.E.!)  One of the perplexing characters in the movie for Fred and Barney was a mysterious, hypnotic, Russian-sounding woman whose name was evocative of Doctor No from Bond, “Madame Yes” (and whose hat, of Secret Squirrel and Cosby Kid Dumb Donald*!).

In the same way, Sarah Palin seems to have hypnotized the Right and the MSM.  As if we won’t mind more stolen elections and fascist dictatorship if we have Her Hotness to gaze upon for the next 16 years or more!

(*–Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids gave the rest of the world the “They should call you” put-downs, hence my headline.  Today of course we have the “Your mama so” put-downs.)

Republicans desperate?

They’re now sending out letters to voters who switched their registration to Democratic* to please come back for no other reason than the need for a two-party system instead of one-party d/Democratic rule, not for anything the Grand Oil Party supposedly stands for.  I LOL’ed when I saw it!  It read like their heart wasn’t even really in it.  But we can’t get complacent, because they’ll probably steal it again anyway….

(*–Yes, I know voter reg is public information, but still, it feels Big Brotherish!)

Haters?

Nice how the Repugs try to turn their original blindly-irrational “Clinton Haters” status on anyone who disagrees with them, as “Bush Haters,” “Palin Haters,” etc.  I said long ago that most of us don’t care enough about W. to hate him – Palin neither – we’re just concerned that they do or could have their finger on The Button and aren’t qualified.  We may yet have WW3 before 1/20/09, if not before Election Day, the way the Bushies are talking.  But anyone who disagrees with them can’t possibly be rational, right?!!!

Rock band Heart defends its honor against GOP

One of my all-time fave bands, I mustn’t have been listening when the Repugs played “Barracuda” for Palin at the convention.  (In fact, I wasn’t listening much at all!)  That’s the problem when musicians “sell out.”  I guess they gotta eat too.  Though their royalties are being donated to the Obama campaign, so it’s not a total waste-product….

Actually, Palin reminds me more of another Amazon fish!

Wednesday Night GOP roundup

With thanks to MSNBC:

McCain running mate speaks as someone unconcerned with public opinion

Is the public not going to be voting in November?  Or are our votes not going to count?  What do they know?

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in her first real introduction to the American people as Sen. John McCain’s running mate, struck back Wednesday night at news organizations and a “Washington elite” that have raised questions about her qualifications to be vice president.

Ah, we should know not to ask such questions of a candidate for public office, especially the second-highest office in the Executive Branch, potentially second only to an elderly man not in perfect health.

As Palin accepted the vice presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., her experience — she has been mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, and has served as Alaska’s governor for less than two years — was front and center in voters’ minds. Palin’s personal life has also become a topic of discussion after she revealed that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter was pregnant.

Alaska, a state I love, but with fewer people than many cities and counties.  Also, “she revealed”: I don’t recall anyone asking if she was pregnant now.

Palin acknowledged that she had not been in politics for long, calling herself “just your average hockey mom [who] signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better.”

Sounds to me like the right stuff to lead the strongest nation on earth!

But in a speech that connected strongly with delegates who interrupted her numerous times with standing ovations, she dismissed critics of her background as snobs who looked down on ordinary Americans and their concerns.

Guess what, dear, you’re not an ordinary American.  And I’ve already pointed out how the Obama “elitist” attack has racist undertones, overtones, or both.  Anyway, alot the Repugs have done for ordinary Americans and their concerns these last 28 years, with real wages falling, homelessness up, hunger up, malnutrition up, lack of health insurance up, insufficient health insurance up, sacrificing their children and spouses in senseless wars abroad from Grenada to Iraq and soon possibly Iran and Georgia, agriculture going to the corporations, small towns dying, etc etc etc.  Then again, “Republicans Against Snobs”: Maybe this *is* a ticket of change and reform and mavericks!!!

“I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment,” Palin said. “And I’ve learned quickly these past few days that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But as a Republican, you ARE a member of the elite.  But that’s not why you’re unqualified, but because you make Dan Quayle look like a Rhodes Scholar of vast experience.  It’s not your fault; if you had his privileges all your life, you probably would’ve made more of them than he did.

“But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion,” she said. “I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

First of all, that “little” is immature and girlish; that’s OK, you’re a girl, a young woman by Washington standards, even if you are about to become a grandmom; come back in a few years when you get some game and stop saying things like “little news flash.”  More importantly, if the people of this country don’t want you, will you be forced upon us by election fraud?  Who would Jesus cheat?

The campaign said Palin co-wrote her address with Matthew Scully, who has written for McCain and previously for President Bush. The Obama campaign picked up on that fact in its brief response, which it released during the roll call of the states that was making McCain’s nomination official.

“The speech that Governor Palin gave was well delivered, but it was written by George Bush’s speechwriter and sounds exactly like the same divisive, partisan attacks we’ve heard from George Bush for the last eight years,” the campaign said in a statement.

“If Governor Palin and John McCain want to define ‘change’ as voting with George Bush 90 percent of the time, that’s their choice, but we don’t think the American people are ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.”

As Senator Bob Casey said, “That’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick!”

“Since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves,” Palin said. “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

IIUC, not many, not in Wasilla anyway!  But then, a White girl in Alaska wouldn’t know about the need for community organizing; she should ask her Yup’ik Eskimo grandmother-in-law about it.  Now there’s a small town!

“I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening,” she said, alluding to an early gaffe by Obama during the primary campaign, when he suggested that working-class Americans tended to “cling to religion and guns” in tough times.

No gaffe.  I suspect he learned it from the recent scientific research of sociologists Andrew Greeley – an Obama friend – and Michael Hout, as in their recent book The Truth about Conservative Christians: What They Think and What They BelieveAnyway, I’m not sure Obama was putting down small-towners when he said it; I originally read it as profoundly sympathetic, considering the lip-service they’re used to from the GOP.  G&H believe that if Democrats restored their former alliance with rural and small-town America, offering them a positive reason to vote for them again, and not just a negative reason not to vote for the Repugs — It really is ‘the rural and small-town economy, stupid’ — they’d come back.

“Here’s how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change. …

“There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you, in places where winning means survival and defeat means death, and that man is John McCain.”

McCain, change?  Doesn’t McCain-Feingold seem to have been well-designed to keep letting soft campaign money through, rather than stopping it as claimed?  (Sorry, Russ, it’s the truth, and you know it.)  Has he changed anything else?  He talks change now, but where’s he been for the last three decades there in Washington?  Talk about “permanent Washington elite”!  And what the ill-advised Vietnam War has to do with change, I don’t know.  It’s tragic McCain had to spend those years as a POW, with all that torture and deprivation of basic rights and counsel – conditions he feels compelled to inflict on others today – for a big mistake and political opportunism, just like our men and women around the world these last 28 years, thrown into the meat grinder by politicians without a clue, cynical politicians out only for their own reflected glory, no matter the human cost.  Real change wouldn’t be continuing The Wars of the House of Bush and Saud for another 8-16 years, for literally trillions of dollars our great-grandchildren will be paying-off, but ending the madness now.  But then, you “haven’t thought much about the Iraq War.”

“From the inside, no family ever seems typical,” she said. “That’s how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs as any other, the same challenges and the same joys.”

But at the same time that the campaign was pressuring reporters to stop asking about her children, Palin invoked her family several times in explaining why she was proud to run on the same ticket with McCain.

That’s the thing: “Most other families” aren’t trying to tell others how to be, especially while not succeeding in living up to it themselves – a tough standard – but neither ratcheting back the rhetoric as ‘older and wiser’ or having learned a little humility in ‘the school of hard knocks.’  Hopefully you will in future decades.  Speaking for myself, I’m surprised at how smart I’ve gotten versus how smart I thought I was 20 years ago … or even three!!!

Palin praised the senator as “a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.”

“Within sight” of LSD trippers, maybe….

“Sometimes, even the greatest joys bring challenge, and children with special needs inspire a special love,” Palin said.

“To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters,” she said. “I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.’’

I read somewhere that both she and McCain cut special ed funding.  I thought it was on Huffington Post, but their search function seems on the fritz just now.  But with friends like that….

Even before McCain’s plane landed at noon, his campaign struck back heatedly at persistent questions about Palin, declaring that “this nonsense is over.”

Temper, temper, Senator….  If you didn’t want questions, you shouldn’t have nominated such a “questionable” candidate.

Levi Johnston, the boyfriend of Palin’s pregnant 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, got a pat on the shoulder, as well as a handshake. McCain told Bristol Palin that he was sorry for what she was going through because of the “intrusion of the media,” Steve Schmidt, a senior campaign adviser, told NBC News.

Yes, “the media” invited in by mom and her new friend from Washington.  Anyway, McCain repeatedly rubbed Levi’s upper arm.  What’s that about?  Wait, is he the one – McCain – who doesn’t know what to do with his hands?  You’d think after three decades in the limelight….

Referring to forum last month at which both candidates fielded questions from Rick Warren, a prominent evangelical leader, Romney said:

“And at Saddleback, after Barack Obama dodged and ducked every direct question, John McCain hit the nail on the head: Radical Islam is evil, and he will defeat it. Republicans prefer straight talk to politically correct talk.”

I would’ve thought not Establishing a religion would include not using taxpayer dollars or soldiers to “defeat” a religion either.  But as they say, the First Amendment is just an amendment….  As for Obama’s alleged performance there, I don’t make a habit of keeping up on Evangelicals, so I couldn’t say.  I’ve got my own fish to fry(!)….

Huckabee, meanwhile, cast doubt on Obama’s {alleged*} lack of experience and judgment in foreign policy, saying: “Maybe the most dangerous threat of an Obama presidency is that he would continue to give madmen the benefit of the doubt. If he’s wrong just once, we will pay a heavy price.”

I don’t see Obama saying that.  I see Obama saying that unless Huckabee wants a draft … or a nuclear holocaust … maybe a little in-person “reading the Riot Act” to Ahmadinejad et al. might bring the message home to them.  A little thing we used to call international relations, before Reagan and others decided speaking loudly and carrying a big stick was better than the other thing.  Though the rest of the planet thinks we’re the madmen….

Giuliani, meanwhile, took on the burden of answering the controversies over Palin’s background….

Oh, that’s rich.  I guess his job was to make her situation look normal! 

Saying Palin had more “executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined,” Giuliani said, “I’m sorry if Barack Obama thinks her hometown isn’t cosmopolitian enough.”

Earlier, Giuliani, in an interview with NBC’s TODAY show, called reporting on Palin’s daughter “indecent and disgusting.”

“Everything’s that come out is almost silly,” Giuliani said. “The whole thing with her daughter is just absurd.”

And Rudy has more “executive experience” than she, so why isn’t he on the ticket?!!  Because the “base” thinks he’s a flaming liberal!  (Ask Blacks in New York about that.)  And yes, exposing Bristol’s issues was absurd – but that seems the order of the day for these Republicans….  They think little of a young woman “in trouble,” and always have.  Levi has shown more manliness in his little finger by joining her in the maelstrom than McCain in all his years in Hanoi.  Because McCain can always run on his “prisonership,” as he does constantly, but what can Mr. Johnston do other than what he’s doing?

Romney said Americans would enjoy “expanded opportunity … when taxes are lowered and when every citizen has affordable, portable health insurance.”

And Giuliani promised that McCain would “lower taxes so our economy can grow.”

“He will reduce government spending to strengthen our dollar,” Giuliani said. “He will expand free trade so we can be even more competitive.”

Sounds like trickle-down, “voodoo economics” to me – as a man named Bush once called it!  And folks like us are tired of being trickled on!!!  In any case, why isn’t their man Bush II doing all this?  The fact is, he’s lowered the taxes of the rich and Big Business, and promoted free-not-fair trade, but not the affordable, portable health insurance, the economic growth, or the stronger dollar.  He has brought us six-dollar gas, unbridled corruption, denial of Global Warming, the housing crisis, offshoring, the “loud sucking sound south,” arsenic and mercury in our water (I hope not in Alaska, for those babies’ sake), regulatory malfeasance / misfeasance / nonfeasance, “lost” Indian billions, lies and coverups, war profiteering, election fraud and divisiveness and partisanship, etc etc etc.  And McCain’s been right there with him 90 percent of the time, his arms wrapped around him, his lips right on him.  “That’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick!”

(*–So much for the “liberal media” myth!)

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