Debt Ceiling/Shutdown, and real journalism

I was a serious journalist a long time ago, inspired by Woodstein, Geraldo’s Bellevue expose, and 60 Minutes.  So I HATED doing press-release news and he said/he said.  But that’s all we get from mainstream news these days, not just broadcast/cable but also newspapers.  I guess you can’t get paid to tell THE TRUTH anymore, like this piece of debunking Reaganite mythology that underlies Republican government shutdown threats, and even Democratic compliance.

Journalism used to be called “the rough draft of history” or “the first draft of history” (or more correctly, of historiography).  Today it’s not even that — at least I hope not!

SEIU next for ACORNuts?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2 Most Powerful Governmental Leaders in the Americas are now both Black

President Obama and Governor General Jean of Canada meet before Harper meeting

President Obama and Governor General Jean of Canada meet before Harper meeting

I missed this picture in U.S. media from President Obama’s Canadian trip.  HE is the elected President of the United States of America, with his finger on The Button, the son of a Black African student with distant kin descended from chattel slaves.  SHE is Michaelle Jean, appointed “Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada” by Her Majesty The Queen of Canada and Her Other Realms and Territories, Elizabeth II, on the advice of HM’s Canadian Prime Minister of the day.  Mme. Jean is a Haitian immigrant to Quebec, her first language is French (or Haitian Creole), and she is descended from chattel slaves.  In the name of The Queen, she holds all constitutional power in Canada, though according to custom, she too governs in Privy Council, acting only on the advice of HM’s Canadian PM of the day … normally.  She’s married to a White Frenchman, and they are raising an adopted little Haitian girl.

Some photo op, eh?!  Every Black kid on Earth should get a copy free!

Canadian media covered their meeting in greater detail than you’ll find elsewhere: here, for now (link will break).

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?!

Bill Richardson for Secretary of State

He has the personality, the skills, the experience, and respect from friend and foe alike.

Hillary Clinton?  I’m not sure she can work for someone else, especially Obama who beat her for the nomination; I’d trust Bill C. better in this regard.  Furthermore, does Hillary have the personality? skills?  She DOESN’T have the experience.  America’s friends abroad like her, but you don’t make peace with your friends: Do our foes like or respect her?  I don’t know that they do, whereas I do know they like or at least respect Richardson.

Besides, we need our Senate Democrats.  New York’s current Governor is a Dem, but there’s no guarantee NY voters would elect a Democrat to succeed Hillary eventually.  Remember Al D’Amato?  With GOP/corporate hackers stealing elections, and how stung they feel after last week’s losses, let’s not give them the chance.

In this day and age, State is too important a job to treat as a mere political plum, or even an intra-Party olive branch.  And the Senate is also too important to risk: Realistically, we have a year and a half to turn this country around, or get it well on the way.  We can’t expose ourselves – or the nation – or the world – to Republican political games in Congress.

Obama’s campaign money

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

Let Democrats be Democrats

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

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

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

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

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.?

McCain on Obama’s 30-minute commercial

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

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!”

And so the “glitches” begin.

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

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

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

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

“Social justice is a matter of life and death”

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

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

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!“)

Obama Family Values

Political Roundup

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

Alaskans rally against Palin!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.)

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.

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 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!

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!)

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.”

Obama “Elitist” attack is racist.

It makes use of the Mulatto Elite Stereotype to try to alienate him from Blacks and non-wealthy Whites simultaneously.  To historic U.S. Blacks, he’s “not Black enough.”  To (stereotypical) non-rich Whites, he’s an “uppity Negro.”  In this view, not being descended from American Slaves is a double disability: SNRWs already aren’t sure about an African Black or the son of one, but having a White mother and grandparents just adds insult to injury.  And to American Blacks, he lacks “credibility” if they see him this way.  The fact is, most “mulattos” in this country are poor and working-class, urban or rural.

Some of us went ballistic when Fox News and all those other Repugs who really are The Elite in this country started calling Obama that, saying “He’s out of touch.”  But naturally, they knew exactly what they were doing: It’s many of us Democrats who are “out of touch” with the racism that’s still out there in this country — not because we’re “elitist,” but because we struggle with it (on a good day), whereas the Rove-publicans aren’t afraid to employ it to keep their stranglehold on power.  Obama can’t be White enough for SNRWs, nor Black enough for some Blacks.

It’s necessary to expose the McCain/Palin/GOP/Fox/AM radio operatives’ cynical racist ploy, to deflate it.  Shine the light on how they’d manipulate Americans for their own benefit and not America’s.  And say it’s OK for White women to have Black men’s babies if they want, and vice-versa, and for those offspring to enjoy Sonny and Cher or Donny and Marie … or 50 Cent or Buffy Sainte-Marie.  America’s always been diverse, even if Hollywood and Madison Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue haven’t always been so.  Even if the world according to Jim Crow was only “White” and “Nonwhite,” or sometimes “White,” “Black,” and “Red” or “Hispanic” or “Asian.”

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.

Weird names, not just Black after all

this piece from Salon (you can tell I’ve just been there) reminds us.  Although the author should’ve come across the fact that even the ancient Romans sometimes named their children numbers after their birth order – Secundus/a, Quartus, Quintus, Septimus, Octavius – which sounds alot more impressive if you don’t know Latin – Second, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth…!  (I’d give in to the temptation to claim that Augustus and Julius Caesars were named after months, but of course it’s the other way around!!)  The only thing weirder is George Foreman and his five sons named George.  But understanding the “weird Black name” phenomenon as liberating, yeah, I get that.

Electa, Valantine, and Zebedee are religious names: one or more of St. John’s Epistles were formally addressed to a parish he called the Lady Electa (ie, Chosen, or perhaps Elect, ie, predestined, from Calvinism); Zebedee was father of the Apostles Sts. James and John; and Valantine is just Valentine, the early Christian martyred bishop and patron saint of February 14.

I think I can understand “unique” names (though the Orthodox Church usually insists on Orthodox Saints’ names, for role models, Holy t/Tradition, and Heavenly intercessors for the named), but do they have to sound as ridiculous as some of them do?  Worse, they often defy English-language spelling conventions, as an old radio hand leaving some doubt as to pronunciation, with or without apostrophes, post-initial capital letters, or strings of consonants without a vowel where needed (outside of Polish, of course!).  (And as an Irishman, I must insist that the correct spelling of one common name or name-particle is Sean! 😉  Though I was impressed to meet a young lady named Shavaun, which is simply Siobhan with the spelling anglicized!  Tho I didn’t realize it until I sounded it out in my head … a problem with innovative spellings.)  In any case, is a name truly “unique” simply by changing one letter?  Computers think so, but I don’t know….

As for Arabic-language names, it’s no big deal in itself, though of course alot of people these days have issues with the religion usually suggested, Islam.  Senator Obama’s name, of course, came from his father, a lapsed Muslim who still wanted his kid named after him.  (My legal name is similar in that respect.)  His native Kenya’s Muslim population, like that of other near-Sahara countries, continues to grow.  (But its Orthodox population even faster!)  But critics seem to forget that King Hussein of Jordan was a great friend of the United States; OTOH, Hussein was Saddam’s last name, not his first name … and neither the king nor the future President were named after him!!!  It just happens to be a relatively common Arabic name in various spellings.  For that matter, as Obama has reminded us, (Ehud) Barack was an Israeli prime minister – so I guess it goes both ways, eh?!!

Some of these names are, or seem like, surnames, being used as given names.  This practice of course is well-known in the White Protestant community, though even Catholics have been known to use them for middle names though rarely first names, like John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  Speaking of English Protestants, let’s not forget Praisegod Barebones, and another 17th-century Puritan whose given name was – I swear I am not making this up – “Christ Died To Save Us.”

What’s unfortunate about “Luxury Latch-on” names is that increasingly the original corporate names themselves are totally made up words, and not real names at all, rendering the personal names based on them a second-generation phenomenon, or twice-removed from the real world.

Orencio sounds Shakespearean, like those fake Italian names some of his characters had.

Other than that, my biggest concern as someone who hopes to acquire naming rights over someone someday in the not-too-distant future, is how they’ll deal with the name for the rest of their lives … something that doesn’t seem to enter into as many other parents’ or would-be parents’ minds as I would expect.  Was their own childhood so long ago?  Not longer than mine in most cases, except maybe Dave Letterman and Donald Trump….  But I figure weirdness is for nicknames, totally optional, appearing in no government databases or legal documents (unless they’re in the Mob of course).

“My friends call me Xfrkgyuip.”
“Gee, that’s interesting. Why do they call you that?”

And so on.

Then again, since I learned it, I’ve always thought the Irish Gaelic name for Wednesday, Ceadaoin (Céadaoin), pronounced something like kay-DEEN, would make a pretty girl’s name: hmm, Céadaoin Ó Faoláin….**  [As for its meaning, “First Fast-day,” it refers to the ancient Christian (and continuing Orthodox Christian) practice of cutting-back on food on most Wednesdays of the year; Fridays also, Aoine, meaning simply “Fast-day,” suggesting the Irish didn’t do Wednesdays at first.]  And speaking of Irish names, I dislike the growing trend of giving girls Gaelic boys’ names: Murphy Brown, McKenzie Phillips, even Phelan, an English form of my last name.  I suspect these parents (or writers) aren’t aware that these Irish (or Scottish) surnames are based on (in most cases) ancient men’s given names … witness the constant attention in Irish surname / family history recitations to the supposed derivation of the surname, as faolan, little wolf, rather than the more real and relevant reference to an eponymous ancestor!  There’s also Rory Kennedy, an almost unforgivable sin considering that the last reigning High King of All Ireland bore that name, Rory (Roderick) O’Connor, King of Connacht – variously spelled Ruaidhri, Ruairi.  (Also because she didn’t marry me! 😉  )

But by all means visit this site the Salon writer points to.  It’s so funny you just might cure cancer!  I laughed so hard I cried and had a coughing fit, probably the hardest laugh of my life, no kidding!

(I remember the Black comic who told us a couple years ago about the crap he took for “fighting the good fight” and then turning to dating White women for a while, before again reversing himself.  “A Loqueeda makes up for two Megans and a Becky.”)

(**–Though in proper Irish she’d have to be Céadaoin ní Fhaoláin.)

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!)

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!!!!!

Do we really know McCain?

McCain is touting America’s familiarity with him over Obama.  I guess it’s the devil you know over the devil you don’t know?!!  If that’s the best he has against the Democratic nominee, this’ll be a slam dunk!

But seriously, does the McCain America knows really exist?  The “maverick” buddy of the Religious Right and Bush/Cheney?  The “maverick” beloved of the MSM who votes mostly with the Hard Right?

Who’s zoomin’ who, Senator?  America is having the wool pulled over its eyes, I think.

The U.S. Metis dilemma

Reading about Obama’s goals for Native policy reminds me of the dilemma faced by Mixed-Blood Indians within the United States who may be luckier (for now) than our Indian-identified cousins: In some ways we would wish, like our brothers and sisters within Canada, to receive some kind of recognition under U.S. law, considering that many of our communities antedate 1776, or the later U.S. conquest / cession of our territories.  But doing so could detract from the material help so many other Indians and Tribes receive from Washington, which is already far from enough, reflecting continuing illegal and genocidal policies and negligence on the part of the American government.  This was pointed out to me in recent years by one or more U.S. Métis groups like this one.

What’s the goal of “recognition” if not money, reservations, casinos, etc.?  Most basically, the government-to-government relationship of co-sovereigns.  Beyond that, influence in U.S. policy that concerns us and even our Indian cousins.  One thing not commonly mentioned in the U.S. is non-Treaty aboriginal rights, such as hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering, when such rights have not been ceded by Treaty.  But even “Federal recognition” as currently set up takes decades, sometimes generations, and to add hundreds of non- (or semi-)Indian-identifying Indigenous communities to that process would probably bring it crashing down!

Some US Metis spokespersons even say non-Indian-identifying Metis who are currently luckier than our Indian-identifying cousins shouldn’t seek individual recognition, Tribal membership / citizenship, for similar reasons, but instead should join one of the newly-forming Metis groups.  But, at least since the ’60s, Tribal membership is sometimes seen to have a certain cachet, especially for those of us separated by miles and/or generations from our Native roots.  (Sure, if we don’t “look Indian,” and society doesn’t maltreat us like it does those who do….)  This is a little like Black-activist objections to the mixed-race option introduced in the 2000 Census, fearing Whites will perceive a smaller Black community and belittle their aspirations for equality and social justice and fairness – “divide and conquer.”  In fact, a majority of historic African-Americans have also Native American and European ancestries, just as most persons with Native American ancestries also have European and/or African ancestries now, and more European-Americans than realize it – especially Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch – have African and/or Native American and/or South or Southwest Asian ancestries.  (BTW, most non-Latinos don’t realize that most Latinos have substantial Native American ancestry, either.)  And more than a few Indian-identified persons treat Metis as “wannabe’s,” rather than “are’s.”  The fact is that America usually treats you based on what you look like … unless they know that there’s more to you than what you look like, and then they mistreat you on that basis!  So by no means should equality, fairness, social justice continue to be denied somebody, simply because he or she doesn’t meet the deniers’ traditional definition of this or that.

OTOH, in Canada at least, Metis often share Indians’ problems with health, poverty, and discrimination.  It might be interesting to investigate whether American Metis are worse-off in these ways than any of their non-Indian cousins, and perhaps more like their Indian cousins in this regard than currently suspected.

If Mixed-Blood profile, roots, and culture(s) could be raised in this country, their groups might be able to take pressure off needy Native communities.  Indians or Tribes could help with this perhaps.  But as currently understood here, no Metis group as such has any claim on the U.S. (except perhaps the couple cheated out of “Halfbreed Reservations” promised in Indian [sic] Treaties in the Midwest), and so like the group linked above, their aspirations are mostly less tangible and more voluntary.

The other thing is that Halfbreedness in the US has been mostly a highly-localized phenomenon, somewhat below-the-radar, with few if any of the larger kinds of groups, communities, and cultures that developed in what is now Canada – even a couple short-lived regional Republics in the Plains!  (This Wikipedia piece, while somewhat semi-comprehensive, focuses on the Plains Metis of Canada, especially their French-derived; this one, on what might be called Plains British-derived Metis; these links provide a bare hint that there are Metis in and rooted in Central and Eastern Canada; this site seeks to do much better, as does this oneThis document suggests that at one point ALL QUEBEC could be considered a Metis Reserve, and this long and quirky but rewarding one, that most French-Canadians are in fact Metis, “Creole [continental] North America,” not-quite-White, not-quite-French!)  As the links in parentheses indicate, Metis have a higher profile in Canadian history than here.  In fact it has been documented that many of the ‘border tribes’ the US warred with, stretching from the Great Lakes to Texas, were in fact Mixed-Blood Nations.  And many “White” cities from the Midwest to the Northwest were founded by Metis, even Francophones, even immigrants from Canada.  But in US historiography – as in fiction, movies, TV shows, etc. – ” ‘Breeds” usually have to choose between Native and Settler peoples.  [How many Old West cowboys were Metis / Mestizo???]  And so we have more than 200 relatively-tiny, loosely-organized communities in the Eastern U.S., identified around 1960 by Brewton Berry in Almost White, and by others before and since, most with a tradition of Native roots as well as Old World(!), most of whose neighbors seek to deny them any origins sounding more ‘exotic’ than mixed-Black-and-White: Nanticokes, “Turks,” “Portuguese,” Brass Ankles, Redbones, “Blackfoot Cherokee,” Melungeons, “Moors,” etc etc etc.  (OTOH, it’s highly likely that many of the early-modern Blacks and Whites invoked, had acquired Indian ancestry too, since Indians were enslaved as part of the Greater-Atlantic Slave Trade since the 1400s or earlier [sic], according to Powhatan-Renape / Lenape Metis Jack Forbes.)  And culturally, often these have been forced ‘underground,’ to largely assimilate to surrounding White or Black communities – though always retaining a certain distinctiveness, even if often uncertain to others or even themselves or their kin, or “hidden in plain sight” – unlike the ingenious blended Euro-Indian culture(s) of Metis in Canada.

THEN AGAIN, this US group thinks the solution isn’t to go along with the problem, but to challenge it head-on – “apply directly to the forehead,” so to speak! – not by simply joining the competition for a small or even shrinking pie, but with greater numbers to get the pie enlarged!  (They do perceive a need in the US Metis community similar to that in the Native-identified community.)  By some estimates one in three people in the U.S. has Native ancestry!  Imagine THAT Mixed-Blood Nation – 100 million registered voters!

In true Native fashion, one wants to honor “All My Relations.”  But how to do that – ah, that is politics!

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….)

Wright = Lewinsky. Move on!

Yes, this Rev. Wright thing has been too long a distraction in the most important election in ages.  Media-driven, racist, religious persecution.  Or should we put all candidates’ preachers under the microscope?  They’re Protestants, so they’ve probably said a thing or two to pee-off half the country or more (PDF)!

There’s a reason why the Constitution outlaws “religious tests” for public office….

Elitists

Where the well-paid, snooty, right-wing, corporate shills at Faux News Channel get off putting down anybody else as “elitists,” I’ll never guess!  And shame on Hillary Clinton for taking their talking points!

Proof: Obama’s right: They’re “bitter”

According to the Wall Street Journal of all sources!  This link will probably break soon unless you give them money (figures…), but they did a feature this weekend in and around the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the runup to the PA Democratic Primary on Tuesday – not exactly small-town, but alot smaller than Philly, Pittsburgh, etc.  Front page headline, above the fold, full-color photo: “Trapped in the Middle: The incomes of most Americans have stalled; Tackling voter angst in Pennsylvania.”  (“Angst” is just philosophical-German for “bitter” worry!)  And this is just the middle-middle-class; as we know, most Americans’ wages haven’t just “stalled,” they’ve been falling in constant dollars for decades!

Sociologists Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout uncovered this (slightly-) indirectly two years ago in their book The Truth about Conservative ChristiansAs it happens, Obama has a rural/farm plan along with his general economic plan.

We must go with Obama

I urge everybody who still has a chance – primary or caucus voters, delegates, superdelegates – to vote for Barack Obama for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States.

If the Repugs don’t steal another one, Obama has the best chance of keeping them out of the White House.  He’s bringing all kinds of new people into the Democratic Party and the political / electoral process.  If Clinton’s nominated, she’ll just hyper-activate all the Hillary-haters and Clinton-haters out there in the electorate, AM radio, Fox News Channel, etc., and some of the new Obama supporters certainly won’t vote Republican, but are sure to stay home.  This election, more than any other in a long, long time, must not be a spectator sport!  The only risk is whether enough people will be able to set aside their race or bigotry issues and vote for a man who had a lapsed Muslim father from Africa* and a White mother.  Maybe I’m the one out of touch, but I think it’s likelier than Hillary winning the White House.

In international affairs, what Obama lacks in explicit experience, he’ll more than make up for in the good will he generates around the world; plus, community-organizing experience is a plus in international affairs!  Domestically, his pledge to investigate Bush lawbreaking is necessary.  I can accept him.

(*–Didn’t I tell you they’d start hammering on his middle name?  As if King Hussein was a bad man!)

Torturegate

The torture ball rolls on and the administration unravels.  At least ABC News didn’t sit on this one like the supposedly-liberal NY Times on Spygate!  Way to go, Charlie!  Condi must go, and they all must go before The Hague!

What shocks me almost more is that this isn’t having signed-off on a general memo a few years previous, this is pre-choreographing specific torture sessions with specific individual “suspects,” probably mere hours before the specific torture acts occurred.  Bush and the other “Principals” were basically puppetmasters, all but going to Gitmo or Abu Ghraib or Afghanistan or Poland or wherever and doing the torturing themselves!  Not that the actual torturers bear no responsibility for following unlawful, unconstitutional orders, but that these civilian officials BEAR MORE!  Even the Nazis weren’t this dumb!  No “plausible deniability” here!

Using Government for Partisan Purposes?

It’s being alleged in Canada that theocon minority pseudo-Tory Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff leaked the information about the conversation between a Barack Obama aide and a Canadian diplomat in Chicago implying Obama’s tough talk on the North American Free Trade Agreement – wanting to amend it to help U.S. workers, or pull out(!) – was just talk.

‘There was another leak on Wednesday. CTV News — which tends to get leaks from the Tories as CBC tends to get leaks from the Liberals — reported that Barack Obama representatives had quietly told Canadian diplomats that the anti-NAFTA rhetoric being spun out in the Ohio Democratic primary is just rhetoric. When CTV broke the story, it was embarrassing to Mr. Obama, who faces voters in the make-or-break primary today.

According to ABC News, the story was leaked to CTV by Ian Brodie, Mr. Harper’s chief of staff. This angered the Democrats, who accused Canada’s Tories of interfering in their election to the benefit of Republican John McCain, although Hillary Clinton actually looks more likely to profit from this story.

Mr. Harper’s spokeswoman issued a denial, saying Mr. Brodie “doesn’t recall” leaking the story, which seems odd, since you’d think he could remember whether he leaked secret diplomatic talks just last week.

So, did Harper’s people hope to embarrass Mr. Obama by revealing his double-talk on NAFTA?’  {Emphasis added.}

If true, this behavior by the Harpies would cross the line that should exist between Her Majesty’s Canadian diplomatic corps and the partisan political process – not to mention once again  meddling in U.S. politics.  It dishonours The Crown, imperils diplomacy, endangers Canada(!), is filthy filthy dirty, and tries to glorify the party in “power” like the American republic does in the White House.  Canada’s Monarchy separates politics from the honourable duties of the Crown such as diplomacy; unlike the U.S., it’s said to be rare in Canada that diplomatic postings are doled out to big campaign donors or turfed incumbents of the “ruling” party.  If Canadian diplomats routinely sound-out U.S. candidates, it’s not to interfere – God knows U.S. anti-Canadianism would bite them in the rear – but to keep their masters informed of potential changes down here.  For Harper to politicize that diplomatic factfinding would be disgraceful and unbefitting the office of HM Canadian Prime Minister.