Obama’s campaign money

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

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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.?

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!

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!