Catholic Bishops attack Obama again

Let’s be clear: I deplore Embryonic Stem-Cell research or usage in any way at all except for a good-faith attempt to bring to those embryonic human beings to birth.  This is because, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian who aspires to be a member of Christ, ie, one of His body-parts, I don’t consider endorsing human destruction of unborn humans — even disabled ones (I am Disabled, perhaps from birth or before) — to be in keeping with Christ’s body-parts.*

However, the U.S. Catholic bishops go out of their way to attack the democratically- and Constitutionally-elected Obama Administration in recent news releases on the issue.  They’ve been indignant that we elected him and VP Joe Biden (himself a Catholic), as they made clear at their winter meetings days after the 2008 Elections, televised live on cable.  But as any Civics student could have told them, the Executive Branch of the US Government doesn’t lawfully appropriate money, Congress does.  The Executive Branch does nothing with money that Congress has not authorized.  This is the bishops’ national release; this is from one of their most “conservative” divisions, Pennsylvania.

Their Eminences and Excellencies could be forgiven (if I had the power!) their confusion, after their boy in the White House, George W. Bush, appropriated money without Congressional authorization several times, occasionally with active deceit on the part of the corrupt then-Republican leadership of both Chambers.  (And they wanna come back?!?!?!)  False or cowardly Federal judges or Congressmembers allowed this ACTUAL theft of taxpayers’ money to fly almost completely under the radar.

What do I want?  President Obama and Vice-President Biden are no more nor less a threat to advance abortion or its related horrors than a Congress that hasn’t brought to the floor a Constitutional Amendment to reiterate the protection of unborn Americans in 27 years in the Senate, and EVER in the House, NOT EVEN UNDER REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP!  Instead, Republican alleged “pro-lifers” spend their time and money (and yours) fighting [PDF] real Democratic proposals (and candidates) to eliminate nearly all abortions voluntarily by addressing their causes — showing that they view the lives of Unborn Americans less sacred than their own political power (witness their last-minute, repeated deceptions over [lack of] abortion funding in America’s Healthcare Reform).

What I want is for the bishops and other non-Democratic pro-lifers to understand that specific parties and candidates clearly aren’t how to prevail, but bona fide proposals on the floor of Congress.  Based on that, who’s the REAL pro-life party?  THE DEMOCRATS, AFTER ALL!!!

And what about the bishops’ dioceses’ tax exemptions for targeting Obama/Biden?  After all, a partisan church’s tax exemption is like spending YOUR TAX DOLLARS ON THEIR FAVORED PARTY OR CANDIDATE.  (There are Orthodox Church clergy who could be called on the carpet equally and worse than these. But Catholic bishops tend to have more resources on which to call, and lawyer friends advising them, so they should know better. Orthodox, not so much yet.)

(*–The only exception I can see is, in shorthand, to save the life of the mother: where the best available medical opinion[s] is that continuing the pregnancy will kill her in and of itself, not via suicide or threats thereat, or financial impoverishment [falling through our coarse Social Safety Net], her own mental illness or disability, etc.  Because I don’t believe we can require mothers by law to actually — not metaphorically — lay down their lives for their babies; that must be voluntary.)

PS: I’m not “an anticatholic;” I’m a convert from Catholicism with extensive graduate work in Catholic and other (Western) Christian theological ethics.  I don’t “hate Catholics;” some of my best relatives and old friends are still Catholic.  Just for the record.

“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.)

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.

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.

Harper Catholic Communion: IT *IS* A SCANDAL!

Near as I can tell from the NY Times’ unusually dense syntax, self-righteous Canadian theocon minority Prime Minister Stephen Harper received, and an archbishop administered to him, Roman Catholic communion, a no-no since Harper’s Evangelical Protestant, specifically the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination.

The fact that it was at the funeral for former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc July 3 just magnifies the technical scandal — theologically speaking — of this joint action by Harper and the unnamed “archbishop,” identified by Canada’s Catholic Register (a weekly newspaper owned by the Archdiocese of Toronto) as Moncton, New Brunswick, Archbishop Andre Richard, who ISTM (they don’t say) may have been chief celebrant of the Mass, since it took place in his archdiocese.

I don’t know why they’re “covering the controversy” rather than the main story; maybe I just missed that.  ISTM that putting the consecrated host in his pocket might have been the least-worst thing Harper could’ve done, especially if afterward he or a flunkie returned it respectfully to the Church, which regards it as truly though mystically (and not symbolically) Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood.  After all, it’s not exactly a State secret that, with very few exceptions applying mostly to certain Eastern Christian Churches,* NON-CATHOLICS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RECEIVE CATHOLIC COMMUNION!!!!!  In the U.S. an announcement to this effect is commonly made at mass vocally or in print, especially if a significant number of non-Catholics are known to be in attendance, such as would have been the case at His Excellency’s State funeral (presumably in Both Official Languages … and I don’t mean Latin!).

As the Register tells us:

During the Mass, Moncton Archbishop Andre Richard approached the front row where Harper and other VIPs were standing and distributed Communion to everyone, including the Protestant Harper. Though video shows Harper receiving Communion, it does not show him consuming it. Harper insists he did and told CCN in a July 11 interview he made a decision when entering public life not to seek Communion in Catholic churches but to accept it if offered.

Having served in my Catholic days as an altar boy or music minister at many “big Masses,” and also as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, I can easily imagine Abp. Richard being preoccupied with many things that day.  In addition, Latin Rite clergy aren’t commonly tasked with “guarding the chalice” in quite the same way Eastern clergy are (unless Democrats in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania are concerned! [scroll down]); it’s just a different approach or attitude toward administering communion, though the fundamental principles are outwardly similar.  Nevertheless, IT’S THE FRIGGING PRIME MINISTER, NATIONAL TV, A “STATE” FUNERAL, WITH AN ARCHBISHOP, not some summer cottage chapel in the woods with some anonymous guests of uncertain affiliations wearing cutoffs and flipflops!  A deacon or “master of ceremonies” could have taken some of the worry out of the occasion for the Archbishop and helped guide him discreetly around ‘landmines’ such as prominent non-Catholics in the VIP pew.

Ironically, although many of today’s “conservative Catholics” attack the Latin Rite’s modern option of communion-in-the-hand, receiving it in his hand instead of right on his tongue left Harper with the option of saving the Archbishop’s face as I’ve suggested above, even voluntarily taking some temporary heat himself from attack-dog media and politicians, coming up roses in the end if he returned the host respectfully at an opportune moment, even a “teachable moment.”  IOW, Major Brownie Points with Catholic voters!

Of course, more points if Harper had been able to say not that he made himself a unilateral theological decision to receive forbidden Catholic communion if mistakenly (or improperly!) offered, but that he’d consulted his local Latin Rite bishop in Calgary “when entering public life,” and even gotten a second opinion when he became a national figure from, as the kosher hot dog ad used to say, “an even higher authority.”  Don’t they have Protocol people in Ottawa anymore?!!!  In any event, Catholic authorities would have kindly and gently explained the impropriety to him, ways to politely decline or step aside when approached by a priest or EM, even thanked him for his concern to inquire … and probably gossipped about it, increasing his “cred” in their midst!  (Not that I want to help the man politically or anything!)

Now, I’m not a Latin canon lawyer or approved theological ethicist, though I have plenty of background and training.  But ISTM holding the host for later respectful return would have been at worst a mild sacrilege in Catholic eyes, with good intentions.  Eating it is pure scandal, the worse because of how publicly it was done (even if not shown on TV, but hyped in the media for days afterward).  And there are really considered to be no other options: Even dissolving it in water would require disposing of the now-sacred water in a sacrarium, a special sink in a Latin church’s sacristy that empties directly into the ground by sacral arrangement, rather than the sewage system or septic tank.  (‘Can’t dump Jesus in the sewer, dawg!’)  While water may be more easily portable, as in an empty bottle, if it had to be returned in another city … bottles of water are too easily discarded or otherwise mishandled.  An undissolved host is unmistakable, and can be carried reverently in any suitable container. 

Of course, Catholic Church sanctions are useless against non-Catholics, unless they want to try to physically lock Steve-o out of their churches and ceremonies.  From his perspective, it should be about respect for Catholic faith, just like you take your shoes off when visiting a mosque and wear a yarmulke when visiting a synagogue, and if the Orthodox parish you’re visiting stands males on one side and females on the other, going along without protest.

This piece, seemingly drawing from wire copy, suggests there was indeed protocol confusion of an uninformed variety on the part of both the Prime Minister and the Archbishop, who I’m certain doesn’t have such high-level guests in his archdiocese every day!:

Richard said a protocol officer told him before the ceremony that anyone who wanted to take part in communion would signal their willingness to do so.  “I’m sure he (Harper) didn’t mean any desecration or nothing of the sort,” the Archbishop said. “Somehow, the gesture was misunderstood. I think he should have been briefed by the protocol of what has to be done in a Catholic ceremony.”

OK, I have a guess about what’s going on here now.  If there was a huge crowd — and it’s just a parish church, not a large cathedral — and VIPs were seated in the front pew, it was probably arranged, by government staffers, for the Archbishop to serve them in-place, while everybody else who wished and was able to receive, would leave their pews farther back, get in line, and receive from him and/or other ministers in the building.  Rather than have the GG, the PM, etc., standing in line when the missiles come over the North Pole (or the foreign navies intrude in Nunavut).  It’s not a question of special treatment, merely reasonable logistics given the 24/7 responsibilities of these specific attendees, halfway across the country from the National Capital.  Similar accommodations are often made with communicants with mobility challenges.

An added issue would be the presence of M. LeBlanc’s coffin near the front of the church, probably where communion is often administered to people standing in line on normal Sundays and weekdays, etc. … as well as the unfamiliarity of many if not most of the attendees with how to receive communion in this particular building with its architecture, internal furnishings, etc., since it’s not their own parish.

For their part, the VIPs were probably briefed generically by a government (not Church) staffer, without regard for their denominations or (if Catholic) specific communion intentions (which ISTM Canadians more than even Yanks would consider intensely private matters, perhaps not to be “signaled” in advance through a flunkie: a cultural thing).  I could see this adding to the confusion of a ‘principled’ Evangelical Protestant Canadian like the PM who at least once in his life considered just such a scenario … hence his perceived hesitation, a kind of sacramental “decisijig” owing to miscommunication, or what tabloids might style a “miscue.”

This doesn’t appear to have been the only such, if my friends at the Monarchist League of Canada are right.

Last word: While it’s common for Protestants to use the verb take in connection with communion, for Catholics it’s receive — though the actions commonly involved are outwardly the same.  The would-be communicant approaches or in special cases like this is approached by the minister, and the minister gives him or her the communion.  (Unless your denomination does the trays and little cups served from pew to pew like on an airline — no disrespect meant.  Also, sometimes there’s more ‘self-help,’ like the bread and/or wine left on the altar for folks to administer to themselves as invited by the minister.)  If you find yourself about to be given communion when you believe you should not, for whatever reasons, you are permitted, hoped, and/or expected to “signal” your intention not to receive without making a big fuss, yelling, gesticulating grandly, turning your back, running away, or anything of the sort.  Like they say in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, DON’T PANIC.  Remain calm.  “No thanks,” a small but clear hand gesture, fingers over the lips, something like that.  Remember that when you’re in that situation, it’s just you and him (or her), two fallible human beings, face to face.  Most Latin Rite clergy these days are less anal about the flow of the almighty ritual than in former days perhaps, and will be understanding; the Vatican II Mass / in English (I can’t say for sure about French! 😉 ) is less pompous than its Tridentine / Latin predecessor — relatively more laid-back, as its critics will tell you(!).  I received in an Episcopalian cathedral once (while Protestant, on a normal Sunday, even with a “priestess” presiding — a cute one too!), and I’d guess the same there.  Most other situations, even more so. 

Even a State funeral on national TV.

This extended meditation on the pitfalls and pratfalls of public life has been sponsored by the letter Q, the number 69, and the word Sniglet!

(*–Without having consulted Eastern Christian bishops or councils!  Orthodoxy, my Church, forbids receiving non-Orthodox Mysteries [“sacraments”], and administering them to non-Orthodox, for reasons familiar to most Catholics my age or older.)

PS: For the record, Catholicism excludes non-Catholics from communion because they believe the sacrament properly reflects the “communion” of the main participants in the church service itself, to wit, Catholics.  It’s not a question of hospitality or inhospitality, “ecumenism,” “liberalism” or “conservatism,” “niceness” or “meanness.”  Catholics consider themselves the Body of Christ “mystically,” and communion as I said, also, though in a different way.  And non-Catholics, in varying degrees of “communion” or out of communion with them, especially with the Pope of Rome at their head.  This is all Catholic theology, not church politics per se.  They take the same attitude towards us Orthodox — as we do them and all non-Orthodox — although Rome permits us in extremis, as well as permitting their own people to receive our Mysteries in extremis, though they did that unilaterally.

PPS: Then again, given that LeBlanc was formerly a Liberal MP and Senator, and/or that Maritime Tories — even Catholics? — are likely to be Red Tories vs. Harper’s Blues (aka “American [GOP] Republicans”), maybe it WAS a conspiracy against Harper!!!  😉  (Just kidding; I know nothing.)

PPPS: Communion-in-the-hand is not an option in Orthodoxy, for the simple reason that Communion is served thusly: The priest has previously sunk a large piece of the Bread into the chalice and poured the Wine and water over it, filling the chalice.  As each communicant approaches, they tip their head back (or their baby’s head!) and open their mouth.  Father takes a long-handled spoon with a tiny bowl at the end, obtains a tiny piece of this mixed Bread and Wine, and tips the spoon’s contents into the person’s mouth.  So if Harper was at LeBlanc predecessor Ray Hnatyshyn‘s funeral in ’02 … well, it wouldn’t have been an issue, because Orthodox funerals don’t include Communion!  I’ve seen Orthodox priests serve communicants in wheelchairs by approaching them, but most of the time we line-up for Communion, so you can’t get in line by accident, so it’s no problem either. 

So … Go Orthodox, sir!

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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?!

Think the Election went off without serious problems?

Think again.  Brad Blog reports a slew of them, including an Al Franken 12-point exit-poll win reduced to a virtual tie in “results” by suspicious voting machines … a probable 60-seat Democratic-caucus Senate imperiled by suspicious voting machines … a question of whether California’s anti-Gay referendum really passed … a question whether the good people of Alaska really intended to send a convicted felon back to the Senate … and a GOP threat to sue if any results diverge much from exit polls – talk about chutzpah!!!  Also material on Black Box Voting.org.  And I read somewhere an allegation of vote-machine hacking in Virginia.  And another from our Republican Irony Department: Alleged “voter fraud” by Pennsylvania’s fired fascist senator Rick Santorum, formerly a young GOP rising star.

Could I be as Irish as I am and not suspect that the powers behind the power have ‘allowed’ us a President Obama in order to fuel a roaring comeback in 2 or 4 years???  Have they shown as much real concern for the things they claim they’re concerned about, regarding Obama, as about their own power, cynicism, manipulativeness, enrichment (trillion-dollar-bailout, anybody?!), “liberties” (theirs not ours), impunity, corruption, etc.?

Change Prez election procedures?

If you think too long and hard about the question, they might close Comments on you!  (Maybe that’s one of the MSM’s problems!!)  So here’s what I was gonna say (and maybe more):

  • Simple paper ballots, hand-completed in ink (X, check, or circle; no dots to fill in or chads), hand-counted in public at the polling place, no matter how long it takes (no matter what Wall Street or Fox News say), with protections against old-fashioned stuffing. Yes, LOW-TECH. It was good enough for the Founding Fathers….
  • Enough precincts for the population to have no more than a reasonable wait.
  • Non-partisan administration of elections. (And no “privatization” of THIS!)
  • Federal regulation of elections to Federal-related offices: Presidential and Vice-Presidential Electors, Senators, Representatives.
  • Right to Vote: no more “determined by the legislative authority of each state,” like when the 2000 Fla. GOP legislature threatened to throw out the vote and select GOP Electors themselves.
  • Total public financing of campaigns, no private or party or third-party (eg, Swiftboats) donations or money at all … with an amount of free ad time on TV, radio, satellite, and cable.
  • Automatic voter registration with citizenship / adulthood.
  • Regional Primaries.
  • Enforce truth-in-advertising standards, especially if now we’re paying for them!!!
  • Paid holiday, and/or mandatory paid time-off for those who can’t plan to take the whole day off.  No matter what employers say.
  • Simultaneous 24-hour polling nationwide, so as not to disenfranchise the West.
  • No re-election of President: only one term ever per person.
  • Make the presidential runner-up President of the Senate as effectively originally (just, no longer VP, since that has become an important part of the Prez’s Administration), with only a tie-breaking vote, but chairing Senate sessions, etc.
  • Require polling places to be able to accommodate all expected voters indoors in any way possible, in case of bad weather, even if they have to be tents in parks, rental trailers, commandeered big-box stores, supermarkets, malls, etc.
  • Electoral Votes for Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Am. Samoa, Guam, and Northern Marianas Islands — maybe one or two apiece. After all, they’re Americans too, and affected by Presidential decisions! (How about a voting Senator and Rep. apiece, too, and 2 Sens. for DC?)
  • No ballot initiatives at the same time as elections for President or Congress, effectively “federalizing” state and local issues (so much for States’ Rights!!); nevermind that I&R is unconstitutional in the first place, denying States “a republican form of government,” ie, representative democracy!
  • Warmer-weather elections and changes-of-government
  • Apparently it needs to be clarified that Federal Courts have NO role in election of a president or VP
  • Put teeth in the requirement that Prez and VP can’t be from the same state, by adding “in the last 4 years,” to avoid another Dick Cheney sham-move from Texas to Wyoming to be eligible
  • Lame-duck restrictions on abuse of powers, maybe for the final six months of his/her term, maybe unless consented by a supermajority of Congress or the Senate (“advice and consent”), or something

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

Watch out for these and many others.  Ignore them, even!

Report and Track Voting Problems

at Huffington Post, the NEW “most trusted name in news”!!!

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!”

McCain’s qualifications to be President

Those who have known him for up to half a century call him hot-headed and fear him having his finger on The Nuculer Button, including a fellow POW (you might have heard he was a Vietnam POW) and two GOP Senators.  He’s “abused everyone he’s dealt with,” according to another long colleague.  That same webpage quotes McCain himself saying he’s been conceited and embarrassed himself at times; while we appreciate the honesty, since we do know him, we have to wonder if it was ghost-written, and in any case, it offers no promise of an improvement in issues of war and peace, over the last 8 years.  Another Arizona politico says he holds grudges big time, even against (then-)relatively insignificant functionaries who cross him.  He even picks on women, threatens to hit them, reduces them to tears in public hearings, even relatives of fellow POW/MIAs.  But most disturbing to me is how, according to respected GOP Senate colleague Thad Cochran, he went into a foreign country and manhandled one of its officials in front of armed guards – totally out of control.  I’ll take the liberty not to name my source for this version of this well-known account because it could be prejudicial, but it’s certainly public and easily available:

In January of 2008, Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi had this to say about McCain:

The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine.  He’s erratic.  He’s hotheaded.  He loses his temper and he worries me.

A chill down the spine?  You have to understand that Cochran is considered to be a soft-spoken southern gentleman and is not prone to hyperbole in the Senate.  When he made this comment, people knew he would not be saying it unless he meant it.

Cochran also told a reporter about the time he remembered being with McCain on a diplomatic mission to Nicaragua.  They were sitting at a table with the president of Nicaragua and suddenly McCain reached across the table, grabbed a government official by his collar and lifted him out of his chair:

I don’t know what he was telling him but I thought, good grief, everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission.  I don’t know what had happened to provoke John but he obviously got mad at the guy and he just reached over there and snatched him.

{BTW, that president is once again President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, though now more pro-business.  I can’t determine when this incident is alleged to have taken place; presumably no later than 1990, when the Sandinistas fell from power, and McCain was 54.  Henry Hyde’s homewrecking affair, what he called his “youthful indiscretion,” ran from ages 41 to 45.  Was McCain’s assaulting a foreign official also a “youthful indiscretion”?!!  So much for his so-called foreign policy experience….}

…I wonder now what they are going to do to New Hampshire’s former Republican Senator Bob Smith to get him to retract this comment from April of 2008:

His [McCain’s] temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger.  In my mind, it should disqualify him.

Smith added:

I’ve witnessed a lot of his temper and outbursts.  For me, some of this stuff is relevant.  It raises questions about stability….  It’s more than just temper.  It’s this need of his to show you that he’s above you — a sneering, condescending attitude.

{Sounds like Cheney!  Yikes!}

He called Cindy a trollop and a c— in front of staffers and reporters.  Apparently he admits his tantrums go back to infancy; he never grew out them. 

Speaking of the current Mrs. McCain, her father, whose fortune she seems to have access to already, is said to have ties to Organized Crime, just like the Bushes, only more recently.  And it appears that either Cindy is ‘wearing the pants’ in that couple, or sheltering the vast majority of their wealth behind records she has sworn she will never let us see, for reasons at which we can only speculate.

By his own admission he doesn’t ‘do’ economics; poor timing, since we’re in a bad Recession just now!

McCain’s ties to extremists and other unsavory characters.  Jeremiah Wright is just a Black Liberation Theologian — if you were Black you might be pissed too; and Ayers is “a washed-up ex-terrorist.”  McCain’s buddies are present-tense, White, and powerful!

Which McCain are we voting for anyway, or which one will we get, the supposed maverick, or the Bushie hack?

He has an inordinate number of “senior moments,” raising questions about his lucidity, sanity, memory, good faith, etc.  I’ve read he’s shown 6 of the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease already.  And as reported here:

Gerontologists and retirement planners have learned that aging brains compensate for cognitive decline by relying on templates of familiar knowledge more than problem solving. That’s usually a good thing, but neuroscientists have also found that memory loss can lead people to substitute incorrect information. This phenomenon, called confabulation, rather than being random, often takes the form of untrue “facts” that make them feel better — giving them what scientists have called “the pleasantness of false beliefs.” So are McCain’s stumbles simply misstatements, or evidence of a mind filling in blanks with wish fulfillment? Well, we really have no idea. But neither does McCain: His aides told reporters in May that he has had no mental evaluations in the past eight years.

And according to a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder doctor also cited there (typos in original):

Sen McCain’s life history indicates that his brain is at greater than average risk of dysfunction and impairment in the following areas:

  • capacity to learn, recall, and reason with complex new information
  • judgement and impulse control
  • capacity to devote sustained attention.

Sen McCain – like all victims of trauma and torture – is entitled to absolute privacy regardiing his personal medical history. We as American citizens, however, are entitled to all possible information about the men and women who choose to ask act us to select them as president.

At the very least, Sen McCain’s history raises many questions about the presence of objectively determinable disruption in neuropsychiatric function. He and his camapign have been forthcoming with his medical records in the past; his brain history strongly suggests that obtaining and releasing the results of current neuropsychiatric testing, imaging studies (perhaps including functional MRI and or auditory evoked potential findings) and other relevant assessments would be required in order to conclude that Sen McCain would bring to the Oval Office a brain functioning sufficiently well to serve as the second President of the 21st Century.

He has a greater than 1 in 3 chance of being dead in two years as a result of having had Stage IIa melanoma, one of his four cancers, in combination with his age (72).  Sorry to say it, but a vote for McCain may be a vote for a President Sarah PalinReally “Not ready to lead,” to coin a phrase.  She even already thinks highly enough of herself to address someone on the phone she thinks is French President Nicolas Sarkozy as “Nico”?: How many fake hockey moms do you know on a nickname basis with a foreign head of state?!!  She’s not salt of the earth, she’s epsom salt: softening us up, and corrosive!  In any case, the Palin nomination was McCain’s first “Presidential” decision; not a good sign.  There are many better-qualified Republicans he could’ve selected, even with broader appeal, even connectable with the Religious Right like she is, but he didn’t.  Too bad for America, win or lose.  This ticket has already lowered the bar even further than W did, and that won’t be good for American politics or elections or governance.

Why would a good Catholic vote Democratic?

(Aside from the candidates’ personal qualifications to do their jobs, that is.)

Abortion shocks the well-formed conscience, especially when it’s not necessary to literally save the woman’s life.  Also, I never knowingly met a Gay person until I left the Catholic Church in the early ’90s.  And I’m a virgin, but I still feel a little weird about birth control, and sex ed in public schools.  And yes, I’m concerned about Islam’s progress in Europe and North America, when they don’t seem able to rein-in their radicals enough to prevent something as heinous as 9/11, the East Africa embassy bombings, the Cole bombing, 7/7, or Madrid.

Catholic radio is telling you to vote Republican for one, more, or all of the above reasons, or more, though they’re really not allowed to endorse candidates or parties.  Some or all U.S. Catholic Bishops are pronouncing abortion a transcendent issue.  Now, I’m a Catholic-trained ethicist.  I studied 5 years for the priesthood and religious life.  I attended 11 years of parochial school (Balto. Catechism questions and answers!), 4 of Catholic high school, 4 of Catholic college, and 2 of Catholic graduate school.  I don’t have a Ph.D., but I respectfully disagree with the idea of abortion as transcendent political issue.  Fr. Frank Pavone’s (of Priests for Life) logic that without “life” no other issue matters, is an emotional slogan, not a philosophical or theological or moral argument.  As such, it does a disservice to the Catholic tradition of moral theological reasoning.

I submit that the Global Warming Cataclysm and the restoration of (small-D) democratic, constitutional, law-respecting, internationally-cooperative government to the United States, are the two most important issues in this campaign, not only for Americans but literally the entire world, more than 6 billion people, exponentially more than are affected by the “conservative Catholic” issues.

Global Warming is expected to create at least a billion refugees by mid-century, and many will die of GW-related disease, hunger, thirst, war, and instability.  Some scientists believe it may transform much of the surface of the Earth, in bad ways.  And if my cumulative analysis is correct, by 2200 we will lose one-third to two-thirds of humanity because of the Global Warming Cataclysm and other parts of the coming “Perfect Storm”: Peak Oil, Third-World ‘dirty’ industrialization, the spread of unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles and asthma and allergies, and the (temporarily) declining planetary magnetic field with rising cancer rates from reduced solar shielding.  To be honest, neither major party is positively addressing these latter issues yet.  And the Republicans have been at the beck and call of Big Oil for 8 years — Bush and Cheney are oilmen, talk about the fox in charge of the henhouse — and have dropped the ball even on the Global Warming Cataclysm, whereas the Democrats say they’ll start trying to work to lessen and counteract its effects, the most compassionate, realistic plan available.

Linked to this is the restoration of respect for law and international aid and cooperation to the U.S. government.  What Washington does or fails to do – politically, economically, militarily, culturally – affects the entire world like no other single country.  We are today’s Rome, for good or for ill … the world’s sole hyperpower.

In the U.S. about a million abortions take place each year.  Even if each involves a father, mother, doctor, nurse, etc., that’s still a few million, against 6 billion plus, and tens of millions of lives if not more; plus, the Global Warming Cataclysm’s effects have been building since the dawn of industrialization in 1750, and will continue building even after we start doing something about them, so the longer we wait, the worse it will be, especially for the world’s weakest and poorest.

OTOH, what have the Republicans really done about abortion anyway, besides use it to raise funds and votes – “red meat for the base”?  There appears little to gain even on the abortion front by voting Republican, whereas Democrats for Life is gaining traction within their party by proposing to prevent most abortions performed in this country by working to remove their social causes: The 95-10 Initiative.

So I conclude that morally a Catholic should vote Democratic, and support Democrats for Life.

Not to mention the Democratic stands on all the other Catholic Social Teachings of the last century or more!

NONPARTISAN “ELECTION PROTECTION COALITION” NATIONAL HOTLINE

2006 e-voting election theft even bigger than 2004?!

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?!

Nobody’s really said it better than the comic strip Non Sequitur a month ago….

Bush interferes in Ohio voter case, flouts his own Supreme Court

Is this unprecedented?!!  Even the corrupt Supremes threw the case out unanimously, ie, even the Republican ones, yet the Bushies aren’t taking No for an answer.  Is this a case of “How many legions has the Supreme Court”?  Will they have to send over a unit of U.S. Marshals to inhibit the White House from abetting the theft of this election?  Take command of the Secret Service?  Do they have the stones?!

Republicans harassing Blacks who vote early

Unbelievable but true in this day and age, the harassers learned nothing from the ’50s and ’60s except that Southern Democrats were done with that sort of thing.  Really desperate.  They show their true colors … and I haven’t heard McSame/Failin’ disavow them.  IIUC this kind of harassment is a crime, a violation of voters’ civil, legal, constitutional, and human rights … and the police do nothing — just like the cops who it seems were complicit in helping suppress turnout in 2000 and ’04 by blocking streets near polling places in Black neighborhoods, etc.

What could be scarier?: The idea that these people seek to enforce their belief that “Sundays are for church, not voting,” on the rest of us — by mob-rule yet!  There is no legally-established religion in the United States, and hasn’t been since before the Civil War.  People are free to make of Sundays or any other day of the week what they will as long as it’s legal.

Speaking of disavowals, I had forgotten that McCain “pals around with” wannabe-terrorist G. Gordon Liddy (text-search his name among the Comments on the linked page).

Yup, Yup,” it’s clear what Repugs mean when they talk about democracy and “traditional values”: Jim Crow, exclusion of people of color, or rather, of anybody who disagrees with them.  Just like the “Founding Fathers” did!  McCain is even willing to lie — or didn’t know, either way, it’s profoundly disturbing in a wannabe-President — about the scheduling of the last innings of the World Series, on which he chooses to attack Obama.  “You betcha, doggone it!”

McCAIN/PALIN DON’T WANT INDEPENDENTS

The MSM keeps saying that the latest GOP talking point — to keep Democrats from controlling “every branch of government” *  — is an appeal to independent voters.  But that’s ridiculous, because the GOP was certainly OK with single-party control of ALL THREE BRANCHES 2000-2006!  (Not counting the Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton [sic] administrations, and fake Democrats in Congress all along!!)

No, this is really just more “red meat for the base.”  I think they’re afraid the “base” will stay home with all the polls pointing to a Democratic sweep of the Executive and Legislative Branches … so this is to make sure they come out even if McCain/Palin look like they’re losing, to try to keep Congress at least.  Independents certainly aren’t interested in single-party control of ALL THREE BRANCHES again!

Nevermind that it looks like the national Republican Party seems to be splintering, McCain’s campaign now professing doubt they’ll (re)take Congress, and Congressional candidates doubting they’ll retain the White House.  Watch for them to turn their daggers on each other/eat their young in these final days.

Speaking of talking points, how come the MSM keep playing the same tired McSame/Failin’ lies without contradicting them with objective research?  When the Nazis did this, it was the Big Lie Strategy — keep saying it till the people believe it.  “He said/she said” political coverage isn’t journalism, just PR!

(*–Last time I checked, the Supreme Court wasn’t up in this election, and was still firmly in Repug control … unless they think President Obama will try to pull an FDR and threaten to nominate extra Justices to the Court!  [There’s an idea…!])

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!

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

Undercounting Obama survey support?

So suggests this article.  But watch the GOP scream “voter fraud” if it happens!

Palin a young, inexperienced celebrity

So whose alleged inexperience to you fear more behind the big desk in the Oval Office: the United States Senator from Illinois, who’s lived abroad, served the community, taught law, and labored in the U.S. Senate?  Or the most recent mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, “a town with fewer people than the bleacher section at Wrigley Field”?!?!?!

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.

Canadian Election tomorrow: Anybody but Harper!

Danger, Canada, the regressive Conservatives are trending upward!  They got you into this mess, do you really think they can, or want to, get you out?!  Remember these aren’t good-ol’ Canadian PCs, but Reform/Alliance!  Even a real PC in that party is just another MP for Harper!  If we can crash the CPC, maybe some kind of arrangement can be made among the Liberals, NDP, Bloc … hey, how about the Greens?!!!  After all, minority government is doable … just not by them!!  So I guess what I’m saying is STRATEGIC VOTING for any (real) non-Conservative with a chance to win your riding.  This one’s too important!  Save your Sovereignty, save your economy, save your healthcare, save Confederation, save your rights and freedoms, save a Constitution that’s the envy of the world!

Arctic Indigenous in U.S., Russia, protest Alaska offshore oil prospect

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.)

McCain dying?!

McCain hiding death risk?

A very reasonable concern, as illustrated here.

So much for Fixed Election Dates!

So, Stephen “Fixed Election Date” Harper decides going on like he has with his heavily-indulged theocon minority government in Canada is no longer to his liking?  Hypocrite — typical theocon.  Trash constitutional law tradition until it suits them to fall back on it.  Not that Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition should’ve let him go on this long either….

Palin “Big News” page

…at Huffington Post.  Some wisdom there.

Palin and shooting wolves from helicopters

(UPDATE 4 September 2008: Obviously Sarah didn’t go through school named Palin!  I was half-asleep when I wrote it.  Sincerest apologies.)

I knew there was something else: Palin and the Alaska Legislature interfered with this week’s referendum on once again trying to ban aerial hunting except in a biological emergency, by sponsoring anti-referendum publicity with taxpayer dollars.  A referendum which outside hunting enthusiasts also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeatState biologists themselves broke Alaska law by killing wolf mothers and pups in their dens, and covered it up!

“Hockey mom,” or “rifle-in-a-chopper mom”?!!!  Sportswoman?: Where’s the sport in that?!!!  I’d say it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, but Mythbusters proved it’s actually easier than that!

This reinforces something I realized a couple hours ago: Palin is giving McCain’s adoring media another chance to dust off his false “maverick” image, by painting her as one too … that’s what he sees in her.  That’s desperate.  But what Senator Bob Casey Jr. at America’s Convention this week said of the one seems to hold true for the other as well: “That’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick!”  Or as Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said of McCain, the only green in their platform is the money for Big Oil, and the only recycling they’ll be doing will be of W.’s failed energy policies!

Looks like Little Miss Wonderful is crashing and burning, and it’s just been 24 hours!  John, there’s still time for a not-too-ungraceful exit!

I print this at some risk to my own name, and Todd probably got this all through school, but I can’t resist:

McSame/Failin’

What does McCain “see” in Palin?

I swear I missed most of the newser, but others didn’t.  Further observations of such behavior continue well down the Comments on that page.  Could this really be just a cynical ploy, that Democratic women and young people (and men!) will vote for ANY woman / young person / hottie?*  I thought Rove was smarter than that, even in his demonic sort of way.

Or do we just not take the White House seriously in the GOP anymore … since after all, the real decisions are made by the Ruling Class elsewhere … hence Reagan, Dan Quayle, W., Sarah Palin, etc.?

In fairness, I’m sure she’s a fine freshman governor of a state with fewer people than many Lower 48 cities and counties, and fewer services too, after a few years as councilwoman and mayor of “ex-urban” Wasilla’s 7,000 people** — though there is her own ongoing Troopergate Scandal to consider, and a few other things.  Even the Indigenous Alaskans are restless.  And Alaska – which I love since Northern Exposure and living in the Northwest for a few years and converting to Orthodoxy – it’s Orthodoxy’s North American Holy Land you know – is still very remote from the rest of the country.  If you fly from New York to Anchorage via Seattle, SeaTac Airport is still only around halfway there!

And yes, she’s lovely, has a handsome “dude” and a fine-looking family, and God bless little Trig and his family with regard to his Down Syndrome.

But as she herself said about a possible VP run earlier in this same “election cycle”: “Not this time around.”

(*–Almost young enough to be a “hot-T”!)

(**–If you look at it on most maps, it looks like a suburb, but check the scale of miles, it’s much farther out than you think, since most Alaska maps are way too small.)

Realism for Democrats, nation

Look, we had to have one White Guy on the ticket, didn’t we?  After all, America isn’t some advanced, enlightened, egalitarian country like these or even these or these….  As if Republicans would’ve voted for an Obama/Hillary ticket…!

Though if you thought they worked hard against minority voters (eg, 2000, 2004), wait till you see how they try to steal it from a minority President!!!

As for Hillary’s die-hardest backers, well, if they want to assure another 12-16 years of GOP dictatorship….  Yeah, that’ll do alot for the place of women in this country.  And ‘Republicans for Hillary’?  Real sincere….  Don’t let them use you, ladies.  We still need you.  In this republic we only get one top office, not like a parliamentary cabinet or whatever.  A Black man this time, a woman next time, OK?  It’s not like Biden will be running for President in 8 years, right?

Then again, time was when Speaker of the House was alot more important in U.S. political perception than today, like Head of the Legislative Branch or so,* and it looks like we’ll keep Nancy Pelosi there for at least another couple years.  Too bad she wouldn’t let us impeach the frauds though.  She could’ve been President!

(*–You could fix this by supporting a Constitutional Amendment restoring election of U.S. Senators to State Legislative chambers!)

Dobson: Obama Distorts Bible. But Dobson distorts Obama!

Oh, I see, it’s coming down to a sectarian battle now?!

Fortunately for America, most Christians by definition don’t consider Conservative Evangelical Protestants authoritative on the subject!!!  Only a quarter of Americans belong to these sects, ie, less than half of Protestants.

BTW, when Dobson refers to “the traditional understanding of the Bible” on “Old Testament texts and dietary codes that no longer apply,” he means his tradition.  There are other Protestant sects that disagree with him on OT laws!

Obama’s point that people who base their politics on their religion – like me! – need to try to appeal to people who won’t necessarily buy their religion’s interpretations, isn’t persecuting anybody or denying anybody’s rights, it’s simply good advice!  Dobson distorts Obama!!!!!

Obama for Indians

Obama promises to name a Native as senior advisor for Indian affairs in the White House (what a concept!), to promote the government-to-government relationship with Tribes, and help alot of the problems on The Rez and even for off-rez Indians.  And the other day he was “adopted” into the Crow Indian Nation on its reservation encapsulated within Montana.  (That oughta screw up the demographics, with all his money now!)

Rethinking II

WHEW!  Just found out Bob Barr’s running for the Libertarians.  Yes, by all means, Libs, nominate him Sunday!  Could be your best year ever!  Racist, persecuted a sexual act between consenting adults, against drugs, pro-war, but nominate him anyway!  He’ll get you ballot access in more than 28 states, to be sure.  The party of principle … smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom” … for those who can afford it, anyway!!!

Surely after the 2000 and ’04 debacles, no real Democrat is voting third party this time, so the Libs will get all those anti-McCain “conservatives” from the Republicans.  Remember the “Christian” Coalition takeover a couple decades ago?  Could the Libertarians be next?

Rethinking Obama’s electability

Have we miscalculated?  The opening bit on Saturday Night Live two weeks ago scared me a little.  Look at it this way: Every ‘Racist for Hillary’ and other Clinton supporter who votes for McCain in November takes not one but two votes away from Obama, because they reduce us by one and increase them by one.  Whereas, in cold calculus, every Obama supporter – of any race or class or educational level – who stays home in November takes only one vote away from us.  So it may not be ‘democratic’ or just or politically correct, but each of some number of Hillary backers may be worth two Obama backers.

Somebody should probably do the math via the primary exit polls (as reliable as they may be), add a grain of salt, and figure out who the party’s elected leaders, the ex officio or so-called superdelegates, should favor, since it’s being thrown to them.  If whatever the result of the nomination process is, is favored by numerical evidence, that could be a big help.

Or maybe not.

(Also note that if the Repugs steal this one again, none of the above matters much, except for the history books.)

(PS–Isn’t Amy Poehler absolutely versatile?!  I didn’t notice her much till she joined “Update” after Jimmy Fallon [“NOMAAAAH”] left.  So listen Ames, if things don’t work out with what’s-his-name….)

Voter Fraud Fraud = Election Fraud

Classic racism, classism, bashing even of legal immigrants, etc etc etc.  How big a problem is this really?  They are totally insincere.  Is it any wonder the illegals keep voting Democratic?!!!  😉

House Repugs running scared

Maybe.  Frankly I don’t trust a thing they say, even like this.  Certainly their Big Business Buddies will bail them out in time … or their e-voting hackers.

Is Hillary stealing votes?

See here.  Has she made a deal with the devils who put Putsch / Chicanery in the White House?  Furthermore, would this be a good thing or a bad thing?  After all, if anymore in America as back in the USSR, “It’s not the votes that count. It’s who counts the votes,” is this the only way to “win”?  Does Obama need to hire himself some hackers???

It’d make one hell of a movie, leadership of the world decided by competing campaign hackers, something like the climactic scene in WarGames…!  Parallel plots: the real-world election campaign and the hacker intrigue.  “Sex, sex, must get sex into it…!

Remember, in d/Democratic primaries it’s not just winner-take-all, you need to run-up the score to get as many delegates as you can in each state.  Preferably d/Democratically, though….

F*CK YOU, SCALIA!

And the horse you rode in on!

He tells 60 Minutes (CNN video package preceded by commercial) America should “Get over it” for him and his four GOP partisan buddies on the Supreme Court illegally giving the 2000 Presidential Election not to Al Gore who won it, but to the real Sore W. Loserman and his cronies/handlers, who have basically flushed the country and the planet down the toilet, just like they planned.

Scalia should be brought up on charges of judicial misconduct for his political and inflammatory comments in and outside the court since joining it in the ’80s; he should even be disbarred.  He treats the highest judicial office in the land and one of the most important in the world like he’s some village traffic court judge, shooting off his mouth, ruling however he wishes with no real regard for the law or the Constitution.  I can even say personally that he is one of the most ingracious, even impolitic, public figures I have ever had the displeasure to encounter – and I’ve known a few doozies!  And he’s the biggest Fascist and Theocrat on the Court, giving Catholic lawyers and judges a bad name.

Finally, now we REALLY have to seat the Florida delegates at the Democratic Convention, and might as well the Michigan ones too for good measure.  Hillary won both, so she’d gain some delegates, but since Obama didn’t run in Michigan, it should either be rerun or else let their non-Hillary delegates vote their consciences – you know 40 pct. Uncommitted was a shadow vote for Barack!

Though why the CNN correspondent says not seating Florida would hurt US in November, when Floridians clearly can expect no justice or consideration from the Repugs that doesn’t go their way, beats the heck out of me.  You know those old Jews ain’t gonna vote for Hitler twice!!!  (How can Al Franken* [from 7 years ago no less] and I be the only people who remember that?!!!)

What this interview does do for me is raise the specter of another high court coup d’etat … if the GOP thieves don’t do their job right at the ballot box, er, computer, of course … and their pollster / Mainstream Media backers forget to fudge the exit polls again.  Scalia hasn’t quite retired yet….

(*–BTW he needs your help!)

Superdelegate mystery

What’s with all this “mystery” some are trying to whip up or allege around Democratic Superdelegates?  All they are is ex officio Convention delegates, not committed by a primary or caucus or State convention to any Presidential candidate.  There are hundreds of them: How can you call them all “insiders” or “elites” or “party bosses”?  They’re mostly elected officials, in either government office or party posts such as elected committeemen/women.  They are the elected leadership of the Party officially or unofficially, and they are authorized by the current rules, adopted democratically a generation ago, to exercise free choice in hopefully helping guide all of us together, the Party and the American people, to victory in November.  Many Democrats you can actually name are the Superdelegates, they just usually carry other titles, such as Congresswoman, Senator, Governor, Mayor, Chairperson, Committeeman, etc.

The consensus of the Party’s voters so far, or of the other candidates they voted for who are now endorsing one or the other surviving candidate, seems to be that we have two very good candidates left at this point in the process.  This is a good thing!  (The Repugs are stuck with McCain because they had only losers running!)  If the nomination comes down to the Superdelegates, the rules allow us to trust them to add their judgment to our own in putting forward the best candidate in November, because we all want to win, we all need to win, now more than ever, for America and the world, for now and the future.  There is way too much at stake here for each side within the Party to destroy the other, because we’re going to need each other to do our best together to keep the Republicans from stealing a third consecutive Presidency, and Congress also again!  It’s a campaign, but winning must not be a pyrrhic victory, where one campaign destroys half the Party and the Christo-Fascists walk all over all of us and all of the American people, right back into the White House and the Capitol Building!

If it goes to the Convention, is that necessarily a bad thing?  Imagine, a Convention that means something!  Face-to-face democracy they dare to call “a brokered convention” and a “smoke-filled room”!  In New England they call it a Town Meeting, and business-as-usual, not a “brokered town meeting” or a “smoke-filled town meeting”!  They’re not really supposed to be meaningless week-long TV commercials after all, but Conventions — democratic, rule-of-law decision-making bodies of Our Party!  Imagine, a political campaign as an ongoing civics lesson, not just devolving into one long fundraising-moneybegging commercial from now till Labor Day!

Who’s afraid of a little democracy?  The Republicans?  The Mainstream Media?  Big Business?  AM radio?  The Christo-Fascists?  Faux News Channel?

They oughta be!!!

President-elect?

McCain is prancing around the world like he’s already won the general election, not just one party’s primaries.  Does he know something we don’t?  Is the fix already in, just like Jeb “promised to deliver Florida” to W. in 2000, and that e-voting corporation / GOP donor guy decided to “deliver” Ohio to him in ’04?  What’s been done to restore democracy to America?: Nothing I’m aware of!  Does nobody care?!!  Congress?  The States?  The Democratic Party?  (And I’m the monarchist around here!)

What needs to be done?: Simple, hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public.