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

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!”

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!!!!!

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!”

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!

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!

Obama Family Values

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.)

Palin update!

She’s no working-class hero.

And despite her husband’s alleged Yup’ik Eskimo background, she’s no friend of Alaska’s first peoples.

U.S. caused Croatian ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Georgia war, Russian ’90s econ collapse, etc?

Also the Serb attacks on Albanian Muslims in Kosovo, and is provoking a ‘Polish Missile Crisis’?  According to Noam Chomsky here.  Even that the Georgia war was timed by the Bushies to help McCain show-off his (fake, like his maverick status) foreign policy expertise?

Meanwhile is Chomsky’s premonition of Russian forces in the Caribbean about to come true after all, via Chavez’ Venezuela, also Bushie-provoked?

And why is every little troublemaking country all of a sudden a U.S. “ally,” according to the Bushies and MSM?  The Defense Department informs me that America’s only official allies in all the world are the members of NATO: “The official allies of the United States can be found on the NATO website at http://www.nato.int/structur/index.html.”  No Georgia, no Israel, no Saudi Arabia, no Jordan, no Iraq, no Afghanistan, no Pakistan, no Ukraine, no Colombia, not even Japan or South Korea or Taiwan or Australia or New Zealand or Palau….

And does the Iran/Contra/October Surprise conspiracy/coverup continue at/above the highest levels of our Constitutional, official government, a generation later?!  Do they even explain the Sarah Palin nomination, and even the W. nomination and the Wall Street Mess and who knows what else???  (Two-part series at Counterpunch: Read the article linked from the linked article first, since Part I doesn’t link to Part II, only the other way around.)

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.)

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.)

McCain lies

Recently got the following in a mass-email from national Democratic chairman, Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.:

John McCain is running the sleaziest and most negative presidential campaign we’ve ever seen — his campaign is setting new lows with their lies and desperate personal attacks.

Even Karl Rove, the mastermind of George W. Bush’s slash and burn politics, admitted that McCain’s attacks have gone “too far.”

…The McCain campaign has defended and repeated their lies, even after news outlets and independent watchdogs called them “shamelessly misleading,” “thoroughly dishonest,” and “a toxic mix of lies and double-speak.”

The Republicans even lied about the crowd size at one of Sarah Palin’s rallies — they reported 23,000 attendees when there were only 8,000.

These tactics are just more of the same culture of the dishonesty and division that has hurt America so badly the last eight years.

And John McCain is fighting for another four years of the same. Last week, he hired a Washington super-lobbyist to handpick potential White House staff. Apparently he wants to run our government the same way he runs his campaign — surrounded by lobbyists.

Obama “liberal” charge racist, groundless.

I’M a liberal (in America), and he ain’t!  Do they just presume because he’s Black, he’s “liberal”?  As if social justice is “liberal”!  Guess we know where that places the “conservatives”!!!

As for “Obama’s liberal allies in Congress,” we could USE some!  Congressional Democrats at large haven’t been “liberal” since the ’70s!

Then again, this might just be that syndrome where “conservative” talk radio mouths call anyone more moderate than themselves liberal.

“He changed Washington”?

Then how come it’s still the way it’s been since 1980?!!!  McCain didn’t change Washington.  “That’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick!”

“She fought the Bridge to Nowhere”?

Only after vigorously supporting it, and all kinds of other pork-barrel spending for Alaska, till it became a joke in the rest of the country!

Lipstick on a pig

Like Palin owns the word “lipstick” now, just like Fox News Channel owns “fair and balanced” (NOT!).  “Lipstick on a pig” is an old rural American expression, far older I’m sure than “lipstick on a pit bull” or whatever it is she said … especially considering how young the institution of “hockey mom” is in this country.  (And what, all women have to go back to wearing lipstick in Palin’s America now?)

McCain hiding death risk?

A very reasonable concern, as illustrated here.

Sorry I missed SNL!

Great open with help from “Tina Fey glasses“!!! “Sexy librarian thing”!!!!

(How come Palin has a Chicago-Milwaukee accent, anyway?!)

McCain foreign affairs “expertise”?

See item number 2 here, in case we forgot.  (Yes, I did.  Who can keep track?  Especially since it doesn’t make a difference to me….)  I dunno, Obama looked pretty “expert” there in Berlin!  Oh, but that’s just celebrity….  Although sometimes politicians become celebrated” for good reason!!!

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!

Palin, ‘the rest of the story’?

One never knows what to make of something like this, but it paints a much darker picture of Sarah Palin than we’re being allowed through the MSM.  This purports to be from someone who knows her well in Wasilla.  It seems to echo some bits and pieces I’ve glimpsed elsewhere, as well as alot I have not.  So, for what it’s worth….

Something else I remember from college politics majors (like she was – well, a minor – along with her journalism major): Some of them were really nasty.  Coups d’etat in the Politics Club?!!  Some others were two-faced.  “Politicians,” IOW, in the bad sense.  But not all.

(And apologies to Paul Harvey.  Good day!)

Biden hints at criminal prosecutions

Echoing an Obama promise from the Spring, Biden says if elected they’ll end the stonewalling against criminal prosecution of Bush administration officials where warranted, so no one is above the law.

(Too bad we had to go to British media to learn about it….)

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!)

Orchestrated?

Is it possible they picked Palin precisely because of the questions she and her family and Alaska would provoke, as a means of (further) energizing their “base” (in both senses of the word) – see how they turned tonight into “Avoid the Issues / Bash the Media Night” – as well as producing a tail-between-the-legs repentance in the fearful, McCain-adoring MSM?  Enough that they’ll “pay no attention to the man behind that curtain” fiddling with the voting machine come November?

Some have noted how they threw poor Bristol to the wolves (not the ones shot from helicopters either).  If someone asks you, “Are you really the mother of Trig?” a logical answer isn’t, “My single teenage daughter’s pregnant,” it’s, “I’m not even going to dignify that bizarre question with a response.”  Is this the way Bristol’s real mom would respond?!!

I don’t say “Well played, Rove,” because for us not to raise these questions would be irresponsible.  If you can’t stand the heat, don’t keep dragging your kids and their lovers into the kitchen kicking and screaming – or onto the airport tarmac – while continuing to preach “family values” and privacy!  Maybe journalists play softball up in the 49th (-most-populous) State, although the top two newspapers there question her readiness too (and also her inflated – ie, lying – popularity rating).

If this is all a cynical ploy, it shows their disrespect for the White House they covet so.  Of course, the real decisions are made by the Ruling Class elsewhere, but the White House can slow their plans and ambitions if in the “wrong” hands.  Note I said slow; have they ever been stopped?

It also shows their disrespect for their “conservative” constituency, as well as that constituency’s willingness to be used so.  “What Would Jesus Do?”

Troopergate probe going Abramoff?

Did somebody “get to” the Palin aide who was to be a key voluntary witness and who proved Palin lied when she said none of her staff were involved?  Looks suspicious.  Just like how Abramoff fallout was going to bring down dozens of GOP Congresscritters … and what’s happened there?  “Challenging jurisdiction”?  Yeah, that’s real open, real change, real “maverick / reformer”!  If she has nothing to hide, she should go back to the Legislature freely, yes with lawyer if necessary … can’t do anything without lawyers anymore.  (And don’t let me hear them go on their “trial lawyer” tear now too!)  But by gosh, get them under oath, under pain of perjury, no Cheney / Gonzales special deals where they can lie again through their perfect teeth.  Sounds like she had a deal: no subpoena embarrassment.  For someone “not part of the Washington establishment,” she’s learning pretty quick!  “That’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick!!”

Obama campaign reax to GOP Convention

…in this excerpted email to supporters, since I wonder if it’ll get through in the McCain-loving MSM (And so much for Giuliani and Palin as working-class people!):

I wasn’t planning on sending you something tonight. But if you saw what I saw from the Republican convention, you know that it demands a response.

I saw John McCain’s attack squad of negative, cynical politicians. They lied about Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and they attacked you for being a part of this campaign.

But worst of all — and this deserves to be noted — they insulted the very idea that ordinary people have a role to play in our political process.

You know that despite what John McCain and his attack squad say, everyday people have the power to build something extraordinary when we come together….

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack’s experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.

Let’s clarify something for them right now.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

And it’s no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.

Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America’s promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it’s happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.

Meanwhile, we still haven’t gotten a single idea during the entire Republican convention about the economy and how to lift a middle class so harmed by the Bush-McCain policies.

It’s now clear that John McCain’s campaign has decided that desperate lies and personal attacks — on Barack Obama and on you — are the only way they can earn a third term for the Bush policies that McCain has supported more than 90 percent of the time….

Thank you for joining more than 2 million ordinary Americans who refuse to be silenced….

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Palin, The Church Lady

Oh my gosh, I can hardly bear to listen to Palin give her sermon, er, speech, at the Convention!  That squeaky, contemptuous, self-righteous, bitchy, smart-assy, pretentious, pursed-lipped delivery – wow, is that what her family, Wasilla, and Alaska have been putting up with? – reminds me of nothing less than Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” from those old Saturday Night Live “Church Chat” bits“We like ourselves, don’t we.  We think we’re just a liiiiittle bit superior.  Who could’ve put that idea into our heads, hm?: SATAN?!”  They’ve got to have him/her back for their season premiere on Sept. 13.

Palin turns out to be one of those “hot” girls you just want nothing to do with.  Y’know, sometimes you got the idea that you wouldn’t mind “having a beer” with The Church Lady after all was said and done … but not this one!  If she shakes that finger at us one more time, it’s gonna fly off!

Look, my only concern is that they’re gonna steal this election like the last few, then McCain croaks or goes PTSD something, and she’ll have her finger on the button, that itchy NRA / Millenialist trigger finger.  Her own Alaska fellow-Republicans don’t consider her ready to govern the 49th most populous state in the Union, with fewer people (and services, is my impression) than many Lower 48 cities and counties, let alone the whole Nation!  Could Obama turn chilly Alaska Blue?!!

And her much-anticipated speech wasn’t even personal, just boilerplate “masculine,” mostly pre-written for her by the campaign?  Not knowing her, I want to hope so, but “conservative” women can get pretty nasty just the same – though not all.

And what’s this about coddling Alaskan secessionists, even having been one?  I would like to be wrong, but I think they’re anti-Native too – ironically, since she’s married to one!

And the McCain campaign is hiding her from news interviews … leaving journalists no choice but to mine her past.  Who’s being “combative” now?  Look, a political convention is offered to the media as a “feeding frenzy”: if you don’t throw them something, they’ll find something!

I don’t mind Obama/Biden having to run against McCain/Palin, because it’s a slam dunk.  Like I say, I’m just concerned about what’s probably gonna happen: either the polls will “mysteriously” “surge” Red in the last week of the campaign, or there’ll be a “mysterious” post-survey Red swing in the election “results” … with massive vote suppression / Jim Crow tactics, “mysterious” e-voting techs messing around the machines, “voter-fraud fraud,” media Red spin, “mysterious” media and survey changes, all the stuff we’ve gotten used to since 2000.  Maybe even another unConstitutional federal court intervention … except this time the bench ruling will be 6-3 instead of 5-4, thanks to Bush’s GOP partisan appointees.  (And remember, it was Bush who went to court, not President Gore, hence “Bush v. Gore,” not “Gore v. Bush.”)

PS: Isn’t it funny how the Republicans are now the Reds, what with them calling us Communist all those years?  I think somebody did that on purpose….

Obama “celebrity” attack is racist.

As if a Black man can only get diverse votes in America if he’s a football or basketball player, a TV or movie star, a network TV newsman, a singer or an author.  This from the man – McCain – who’s been on Leno no fewer than 13 times, as many as Jennifer Love Hewitt!  They say Obama’s the media’s darling, but really it’s McCain, Leno’s “good friend.”

Huffington Post roundup: Crackdown, Presidential decisions, ambition, Palin, flipflopping, pregnancy, etc.

Here’s what I’ve been reading at or from Huffington Post:

Secret Service / police* crackdown on non-corporate media and other peaceable citizens at Repug Convention

This one has two points IMHO:

  • Vice-Presidential nominees are Presidential candidates’ first “presidential” decisions: Contrast Biden and Palin, remembering that ‘A vote for McCain is a vote for Palin: Is she ready for the whole enchilada?’
  • McCain boasts he’s only running for personal ambition?  So much for “Country First”!  Ah, for Hillary it was bad, but for him it’s good?

Far from Democrats having a “religion problem,” Republicans seem to have more of a “secular problem”!

Does Palin signal ‘Culture Wars: Episode II’?

Palin’s preacher problem!

“Palin Laughs As Opponent Is Called ‘Bitch,’ ‘Cancer,’ Mocked For Her Weight” 

The amazing transcontinental birth of poor little Trig – not to be believed!  Judgment?  (So, does his birth certificate say Texas, Washington State, British Columbia, AND Alaska?!!  Obama has nothing on this kid!!)

“8 Reasons Sarah Palin is More Qualified than Barack Obama” (satire, but filled with facts and flipflopping!)

  • While we’re at it, why not nominate that Snorgtees model?  She looks young and promising, in the chest area!  (And why would Palin’s family provide us with this picture, without actually seeing her bust in it either?!!  Anyway, I preferred the joke when Elvira shared it with us years ago….  And such punctuation – Guess she was a broadcast journalism major, not print….)

And on a related story, a couple thoughtful pieces about single teen pregnancy, approaching it, and preventing it: familial male non-sexual affection, hypersexualizing culture, caring parents and teachers, comprehensive education about sexuality, supportiveness and open communication, and meaning and goals in life, among many other things.

And a few other thoughts from yours truly on the same side-topic:

  • If the shoe was on the other foot, you know we’d be hearing howls about godless “Democrat” Party moral relativism, The ’60s, women’s liberation, headship, the war against the traditional family and marriage, gummint programs, Socialism, yada yada yada.
  • One of their big objections to comprehensive sex ed is “mixed signals.”  What about the “mixed signals” they put out that say it’s OK for “conservatives” to have same-sex or opposite-sex affairs, prostitutes, or out-of-wedlock children?  Is it possible that personal-moralizing** politics just isn’t a good idea?  (Nevermind it having a habit of turning around and biting you in the ass.)  They complain about religion being kept out of the public square (which in America is and always has been poppycock), but then they keep divorcing it from church / synogogue / mosque, and insisting that government do it: Apparently their churches aren’t doing a good enough job?!  They’re against some government programs – those that help other people – but not others – those that control other people.  “Let the church be the church!”
  • Does Levi want to marry Bristol?  Does Bristol want to marry Levi?  If not, should one mistaken judgment be compounded by another mistake?

(*–Including out-of-town cops?!!!)

(**–As opposed to social ethics.)

Palin “Big News” page

…at Huffington Post.  Some wisdom there.

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.)

More Kennedys endorse Obama

Speaking of Rory Kennedy, take a look at her Obama endorsement.  It’s poignant for women especially, and all of us really.

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!)

Totally Without Class

Time was not too long ago when our political parties let each other have their weeklong TV commercial, er, party convention, to themselves.  But this minute-by-minute media-contesting of the Democrats’ ‘pre-convention VP Day’ today by the McSame / Rove / Swiftboat campaign is a new low in what had been a tradition of brief respite from all the partisan BS, our “quadrennial national civics lesson” — now down the toilet with the rest of the McCain offal.  So much for that “maverick” image.  He must be really running scared.  Today’s performance is totally without dignity or honor.  I’m torn between whether Obama / Biden should “go and do likewise,” or stick to the high road.  After all, it is apparently a way to get the “news” channels to air your instant ads for free nationwide and worldwide….

I have to add that CNN’s performance today is worthy of Fox News Channel, “loyally” getting all those McCain minute-by-minute retorts on the air.  I wonder if they’ll keep hammering at his “I don’t know how many homes I have”….  After all, he is the MSM darling….

BTW: So Biden once ran against Obama?  From what they’re saying, McSame may be about to nominate a mate who ran against *him.*  So let’s dredge that up too, OK guys?!!  That’s politics in a democracy: temporary rivals band together in party unity in the end: Our base isn’t thinking of bailing on the party in the fall, while theirs is.  It may be easy to forget during the last 8 years or more of non-democracy in America!  But we are a “democratic” party; the Republicans are a “religious” party.  We had a primary season; they had a traveling revival show, even with a bona fide preacher running!!!  Make your choice, America.  Just be sure and let everybody vote, and let every vote count, no matter race or party or class or liberal religion or no religion or sexual orientation or neighborhood or anything else.

And McCain “congratulating” Biden on the phone while at the same time releasing his classless ad?  Totally insincere and cynical.  %#@* him and the horse he rode in on!

About these insta-ads: Should we really be shown them before they air on paid TV?  Don’t we risk a fiasco like that ad one of the GOPs “unveiled” during the primaries, only to pull it the same day before it aired?  Are we newsmedia, journalists, or YouTube-on-the Air?!!!  Is it an ad, or just a campaign video?!!!  We don’t know yet!!!

For that matter, are they “journalists”?  Jour is French for day, as in daily.  French for moment is moment, oddly enough, so maybe they’re momentarists instead of journalists!  Does that really serve the public interest or the Common Good?  In some disaster, coup d’etat (like 2000 or ’04), or traffic jam, yes; otherwise, let’s stop and think a few hours once in a while….

(And no, I don’t speak French, I had to look it up.  I did take four years of Spanish, but  r e a l   s l o w  ! ! !   I catch about every fifth word on Spanish-language TV news!)

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….)