Welcome to Prairie Country
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
There's a lot of high-steria flying through the airwaves right now about the state of our economy.
Thought you might be able to use a bit of calm reasoning and forward thinking instead:
Hey, kids...convinced you'll nevah-evah use some dopey subject like high school algebra so why study? Just so you know, this embed was bleedin' off the page before I put the ol' high school sophomore math equationing to work and made it smaller. Perfect-O.
h/t to Josh's place for the signpost
Monday, September 29, 2008
October 10, 1999 - September 29, 2008
Ever faithful and as loyal a friend as we could ask.
Through the joys of every season
and the harshest of life's roads.
mellow of spirit and
the bestest of them all.
Interesting. Maureen Dowd banned from McCain campaign plane. Gwen Ifill told by the McCain team to watch herself with the foreign policy questions in Thursday night's veep debate. Rumors flying that CBS has something even more interesting to broadcast from the Couric Tapes.
Rachel Maddow, Campbell Brown, Kathleen Parker...watch your backs.
We don't quite know how this will play out, but seems obvious the thuggery of the cynical, sexist McCain camp, and its misogynistic attitude toward women, is starting to come out of the closet into full-blown bullying assault on women in the media.
Will there be enough left to serve at the barbeque?
Saturday, September 27, 2008
News this morning that Paul Newman has died of cancer at age 83.
Opened a Paul Newman cabernet sauvignon last night and had a maudlin meltdown over the imminent passing of my cocker spaniel, Marley. Life’s little coincidences.
I met Paul Newman in Indiana while campaigning for Gene McCarthy. Yes, those eyes really were that blue. And the twinkle carried through his beautiful work in film, and his charity work, and even his car racing down the road a bit at the Brainerd raceway.
A real star. A real hero. A real man.
crossposted in comments at firedoglake.
The Friday night thrilla gave undecided Americans plenty of opportunity to take the measure of the men who would be president. And one looked Presidential. Calm, reassuring, knowledgeable, sure of his facts.
The other looked like a petulant reverser into second childhood. Boastful, shrill, histrionic, petulant, just plain mean.
I'll be honest, for a while I really wanted Obama to zap McCain with a zinger retort back at McCain's bullying, taunting, provocative tactics. But Obama didn't.
Instead, he spoke directly to all of us who watched. He tried to engage McCain, but McCain wouldn't--couldn't?--look him in the eye.
And I thought of a child taught to have respect for his elders, not to pile on when they are in the process of humiliating themselves.
A child who went thru a troubled youth, but the fundamentals of his upbringing by his mom and grandparents kept him grounded and he worked through that time. Just as he worked to excel in his studies, all the way through his college and law school degrees.
And how he's been working all his adult life to bring along those kinds of qualities of character and help others find them in themselves, rejecting the easy path, the greedy path.
Last night we saw the petulant old tiger, snarling, clawing, lurching for his footing.
And we saw the new lion, past young, rising in his prime to lead through the turbulence and challenges that lie ahead.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Evidently finally the chorus was so loud and universal that John McCain has said he will debate tonight at Ole Miss. The Ol' Craps-shooter snake-eyed.
It's a foreign policy debate. I hope we'll see Obama strongly make the point that our economy is the chief strength of our foreign policy and our national security.
And, hey, just imagine how you'd be feelin' this morning if your social security account were vested in the stock market right now?
First, here's a link to Chris Dodd's conversation this morning with Imus. Must listening.
It's all about housing...this didn't have to happen. The president's a no-show. Hank Paulson doesn't know how this city works [Sarah Palin, you listenin'?]. The lack of leadership comes from the center of the government.
Gamesmanship and political theatre.
Administration still arguing for golden parachutes.
This is a mess it didn't have to happen. Must have taxpayer protections. I accept the gravity of the situation. Don 't need a political photo op.
Yes, Wall Street must have confidence, but the American taxpayer must have confidence, too.
McCain hasn't been involved, it's not his issue, having this distraction did not help. "Republicans are furious over what John did yesterday."
So as the day goes along...is McCain going to show up at Ole Miss? Will there be a debate? Is he sittin' in Boner's office even now preppin' to sandbag Obama at the debate? Or will he keep tryin' to duck?
Oh, and will there be a resolution on the bailout?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Had a bit of a tough day? Well, who hasn't, what with NBC starting out the morning bustin' its buttons over its "gold standard" polling in the state of Michigan that showed a dead heat for Obama and McCain at 46.
And then there was the political stunt theatre of McCain swooping into town like Batman, er, Robin, er, Mighty Mouse? To save the day? Well, not so much. More like throw the financial bailout conversation into total uproar. Obama had the right instincts on this one, folks. Injecting presidential-campaign grandstanding into the process serves nobody's interest. No wonder Bush is quick to help out his doppelganger McCain...it may be Dubya's only chance for a president even worse than he is.
So to tide you over until the next round of lies and/or kerfuffles from the flailin' McCain-Palin crowd, here's a bit o'cheery news: the Detroit Free Press shows Obama with a 13-point lead over McCain.
And then there's this little picture of the road to nowhere brought to us courtesy CNN via the folks at propublica.org. Can't think of a better metaphor...or karma...for the dead-enders at the McCain-Palin campaign.
Orrin Hatch on the Imus Show this morning was just the latest-I've-heard example of the Republicans digging out the ol' Ronald Reagan "welfare queen" card.
You see, the current financial "crisis" is not the fault of greedy Wall Street and investment bankers with their "swaps" and their "derivatives" and their other phony, unethical, totally in violation of standard business practices paper shuffles all designed to line their own pockets with big commissions and mega-bonuses and stock options. Nor is it the fault of Reaganomics or Bushonomics or any other variation on "hidden hand" that must, must, must not be regulated at any cost economics.
Oh, my, no. It's Clinton's fault--Bill, that is. And that 1999 bill...yep, yep, yessiree. And it's the fault of all those, you know, those "others" who had to have a subprime mortgage. And we know who they are, don't we, folks.
The slimy subtext of the argument that Orrin Hatch and BushCo are pushing is racial. And you thought these billionaire investment bankers were scum. Ha! Meet the "fiscal conservative minority" as Hatch described himself and those po' po' Republicans who couldn't possibly have done anything to rein in the outlaws when they had total control of the White House, the Senate, the House, and even the Supreme Court.
Audacious rape in progress, folks. And BushCo and their minions and the billionaire barons of Wall Street want you to just look away.
Imus Interviews link update pending
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Let's see if I've got this. Reckless and histrionic Meltdown McCain says he's suspending his campaign and rushing down to Washington...except not until tomorrow....and if there's not a solution to the bailout crisis he's not going to the debate at Ole Miss Friday night.
Oh, and why don't we just push back that debate to, oh, say, the night of the Veep debate scheduled for St. Louis, and we'll just reschedule that debate for.....
Flailin' Palin's latest deer-in-the-headlights moment with Katie Couric today is telling me, more and more...
Just as he said, McCain sure did find his soulmate in Sarah Palin.
Not Ready on Day One
Right in the middle of writing the last post came the announcement that McCain says he is suspending his campaign, wants to delay the Friday night debate with Obama, to debate the financial crisis in Washington.
Ahem, John, you sure you can find the way? Seems you've been missin' a few votes of late...like almost all...for months now.
Ah, but I'll bet your lobbyist consultants can lead you the way....
More details and opining as events unfold.
Yes, children, STUNT is a five-letter word. But I've got a hunch the five-letter words that are getting to McCain were POLLS...and PRESS.
Last night on The Daily Show, John Oliver spun out for Jon Stewart why George W. Bush could go down in history not as our worst president...but as our last....
The thing about stampedes to action...as is this hoo-rah taking place right now in Washington over the $700 Billion billionaire bailout...for all the trail dust and shouting...we need to not only deal with the crisis but also, in the words of Jim Lehrer this morning on Imus, "walk this cat back" and figure out what went wrong.
Which frankly gives me more hope for substance when Lehrer moderates the first Obama-McCain debate Friday at Ole Miss than for later tonight when Audio-animatronic Bush appears on television soberly slowly sin-cerely reciting "catastrophe" over and over to the teevee camera.
When the former majority leader of the House, Dick Armey says BushCo bald-faced lied to him in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, why would any rational thinking human being believe anything being churned out of this White House?
Across the spectrum, politicians and ordinary citizens of all stripes are coming together to reject this Bush-push package politely called a bailout...when we folks on Main Street know it's the financial elites trying one last grab at America's resources. Even Congressional Republicans are tellin' Cheney hell no.
Bush once told us he was a uniter not a divider. Finally, we're seeing that. "Last" president, jokes the Daily Show.
Not a joke, just sad, sad, sad this pathetic excuse for a man and an administration. Is it too much to hope tonight is the last clusterfuck contrivance of incoherence packaged as a speech to the nation?
We all want Bush gone.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Wow, when even George Will says yer a hothead, you've got some real
It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Let's deconstruct all the flying conversation, the steamrolling from the Bush White House, the oh-don't-we-sound-mellow-and-reasoning from the Congressional Republicans as they stick the shiv in our backs, and the so-far strong statements from the Democrats like Chris Dodd and economists like Paul Krugman.
The $700 Billion or $1 Trillion or whatever the number is that Henry Paulson was flacking Sunday on all the morning talk shows. The absolute proactive aggressive protectionism against accountability that's a prime component of this subprime bailout panickfest.
And bring it down to one simple question: Come January, would you want "Secretary of the Treasury" and John McCain's BFF* Phil Gramm with his hand in that cookie jar and absolutely no oversight at all?
Nope, me neither.
*BFF = Best Friend Forever? Or...Biggest Financial Fuckup?
Sunday, September 21, 2008
John McCain likes to boast that he puts Country First. He'll have an opportunity to put that on the line as Congress tackles the megabazilliondollar bailout Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has cooked up.
Over the weekend, that bailout spread out just a wee bit more, right on over to the yodel-ay-eeee-who? territory of UBS. Best known as the bank Phil Gramm works for. That's right, now the taxpayer's expected to not only bail out Wall Street, but Swiss Street, as well.
You know Phil Gramm. The mush-moufed Texan [why are they always Texans?] who gave us the Enron debacle and never met a bill he couldn't sneak a little deregulation into.
Phil Gramm. Former Senator. Lobbyist. Best Friend Forever of his fellow deregulation buddy, John McCain.
So what will it be for John McCain this week? Country First? Or Cronies First?
Sunday night on 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley elicited few details from John McCain. Oh there was a laundry list of issues where he differed with President Bush--a short laundry list that belies the facts.
Treatment of prisoners, Senator? But you supported George Bush's authorization of torture...after you opposed it.
Mostly, during the segment I viewed, McCain seemed to be more inclined to bash Obama with deceptive statements [Obama will raise taxes...well, yeah, except for that 95% of Americans who will get tax cuts.] than to offer detail on how he would accomplish any of the goals he espouses.
Well, there was one little detail he mentioned. A detail that surely will perk up the ears of farmers who raise sugar beets up here in Prairie Country. Farmers down south who raise sugar products, too.
McCain said tonight on 60 Minutes he would cut the sugar subsidy.
This is not the first piece I've seen or heard of late about how important this election is, how focused and thought-full we must be in the face of red herrings and gossip and trivia. But Anna Quindlen in Newsweek says it in a way that cuts through the spin and talking points and buffoonery we see and hear too much of on cable teevee and talk radio
I don't need the president to be my friend. I have friends. What I need is someone to clean up the mess George W. Bush has made of the country I love.Wisdom from Quindlen...will it be drowned out by the ranters and screamers and shills?* * *Here is the only thing about anyone's kids that matters now: every time you vote you make your kids a promise. It's a promise that you will look past cheap slogans and lazy alliances to try to find a way to make America worthy of a new generation. And if we keep that promise in November, we not only keep faith with our children, we keep faith with the country.
That's pretty much up to who we choose to listen to...and that's the most important choice of all.
And it's a siren song.
The times are desperate. We must act immediately. Dire consequences will befall the universe if you don't do what we want right now.
There have been too many examples of the Congress being steamrolled by the Rethugs and their White House these past nearly eight years that my first reaction is an immediate Whoa!
Whether it's the pre-election rush Congress into war powers for Bush that put us into Iraq. Or the scramble to be Patriots. Or the vote on Schiavo....
At long last, will this Congress stop running around like chickens with their heads cut off, trippin' and bumpin' over each other in their mad scramble to get into the Rush-and-Rove approved henhouse?
We have a sobering financial crisis in this country.
Will the Congress recognize and act as grownups to safeguard against perpetuating the same ol' same ol'? Of will they let the Foxes ratchet up the hysteria and send the good seeds of common sense and reason and, yes, regulation, be scattered like chaff in the wind?
What Congress does these next few days will have repercussions extending far into the future. All of us, citizens, taxpayers--VOTERS--must keep in mind is that the NEXT administration will have the tools, or absence of them, to set policy.
Who will we trust? The party that gave us deregulation upon deregulation and "shop, shop, shop" and "ownership society"? Or the party of change we need?
UPDATE: Michael Bloomberg talking common sense on Meet the Press this morning.
UPDATE: Senator Chris Dodd talking accountability on This Week with George Snuffy this morning. There's an expectation we'll act quickly, but also intelligently.
You're singin' my song, Senator....
UPDATE: A Democratic Congressperson expresses the outrage we're feeling at the abuses that happened and wants credit counseling for the arrogant fools.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
As Frank Rich tells it, the Rovian school of smear, lie and obfuscate is in full dress battle gear these days. And there's much to lie and obfuscate about in the long and "stellar" career of John McCain.
From Keating 5 forward, McCain's practiced the politics of slippery dancin' that would make Charles [Best Little Whorehouse in Texas] Durning and more recently Karl Rove and his back-up dancer David Gregory proud.
While Rich gives somewhat of a sop to the media--bless their poor l'il hearts, they just can't keep up with the likes o'Steve Schmidt and Rove--I'm not so charitable. Just this week I commented about Brian Williams news team conveniently leaving out the detail that the Obama tax plan targets the top miniscule percent of Americans for an increase.
Bit of an "oversight" there, Brian.
No wonder a Washington Post poll cited by Rich found that half of those polled believed Obama would raise their taxes.
You'd think after the last two elections, the media would've started to sharpen up, but then that would presuppose they are [with too few exceptions] either sufficiently competent, experienced, or possessing of enough integrity and plain ol' initiative not to get themselves gutted like a Palin moose.
As it is, media clucking over Palin ineptitude or inexperience or incompetence has the taint of projection to it. Culling the herd never looked so grim.
Is this the best we can do--in our politicians? And in our press?
The Republican saga of race-baiting rightwing bigotry is ratcheting up these days.
John Ridley over at Huffington Post reminds us: there is no context for bigotry other than bigotry.
And there is no bigger propagandist for the Republican bigotry machine than their carefully cultivated rightwing radio talker, Rush Limbaugh.
And certainot, a commenter there, puts it succinctly:
yes... the party of lincoln is now the party of limbaugh. no one represents the morals and priciples of the modern GOP better.These days, (R ) is a four-letter word.
UPDATE: On the Sundance Channel, a powerful documentary—Ring of Fire, the Emile Griffith Story. Griffith was beaten within an inch of his life. Coincidence that this happened in the summer as the gay-bashing right was beating their drums during the 1992 campaign?
Bigotry has many targets—the "other"—the person of color, the gay, the Jew, the gypsy...and as Niemoller reminds us...and then they came for me and there was no one left to say anything.
Bush is a four-letter word. Rush is a four-letter word. Rove is a four-letter word.
And so is Evil.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Did you sleep at home in your own bed last night?
Too many of your neighbors don't have a home to bed down in any more.
We've seen this story before.
In the stark black and white of the '30s. It doesn't look any better in the colorized edition.
And the GOP wants to challenge voting rights for those who are already living on the edge of despair in homes that have been foreclosed on--even if they're still living in their homes.
As Joe Biden said, we've seen this movie before--the sequel is worse.
Sleeping Beauty's wakin' up to a nightmare.
Everything my monkeys and I have done to the American economy the last seven-plus years has been a total Clusterfuck....
There, I said it.
Think I'll go cut some brush now. So long, suckas.
Yep, the economy has survived all kinds of events, Bushie. It just couldn't survive YOU. Heckuva job.
UPDATE: Think Progress has more....
Why do all these mega-major bazillions of dollars bailouts of the financial industry come along when there's a Bush in the White House?
Oh, but don't worry your beautiful mind about it.
And isn't it cute the way the mazillionaires like Trump and the PUMA de Rothschild are comin' out to endorse John McCain this week...
Thursday, September 18, 2008
A friend shared this with me. I hope you'll read it and share, too. [origin unknown].
I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....
- If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'
- Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.
- If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
- If you name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick. (Palin)
- Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
- Attend 5 different small colleges (Palin) before graduating, you're well grounded.
- If you (Obama) spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
- If your total resume is: local sports announcer, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.
- If you (Obama) have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
- If you cheated on your first wife (McCain) with a rich heiress (Cindy), and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
- If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
- If, while governor (Palin), you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.
- If your wife (Michelle) is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.
- If your (Palin) husband is nicknamed 'First Dude,' with at least one DUI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA , your family is extremely admirable.
OK, much clearer now. Share the clarity...pass it on!
And of course, VOTE.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Well, Happy Constitution Day. Sept. 17, 1787.
Yessiree, Bob, there's liable to be much thumpin' of chests and wavin' of flags and flashin' of lapel pins and talk of "patriotism" and....
hey, what's that? Over there in the corner. Crumpled up behind the curtain. Rethug boot prints all over it.
Oh, yeah, it's just a goddamn ol' piece of paper.
Ever since John McCain selected his running mate, we've seen the media absolutely ga-ga over her quaint yet forceful way of speaking, and her moose-killin' and her fixing' and all the rest.
I don't know what all the fuss is about.
People outside the Beltway can do...and say...all kinds of interesting things.
And come up with sharper on-point metaphors than all the overpaid self-loving punditocracy inside the Beltway chattering class.
A local writer of a letter to the editor here in Prairie Country has written as succinct and colorful a metaphor for the Republican philosophy of economic policy as can be:
Gerald B. Jacobs writes in The Forum:
"their Republican economic philosophy...based on the concept of feeding grain to the horses in order to feed the sparrows."Hmmmm, seems to me, given the current low setting of the bar on qualifications for high office, this guy's ready to be Secretary of the Treasury. Unless Judge Judy--"don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."--wants the job.
Jus' need to work on droppin' those "geeeeee's."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The statistics are grim.
Alaska leads the nation in reported forcible rapes per capita, according to the FBI, with a rate two and a half times the national average -- a ranking it has held for many years. Children are no safer: Public safety experts believe that the prevalence of rape and sexual assault of minors in Alaska makes the state's record one of the worst in the U.S.
She didn't just do nothing, critics say. Sarah Palin proactively stalled the effort to tackle sexual violence in Alaska. Because she was more interested in settling a personal grudge, she abused the power of her office, and put women and children at risk. Some family values.
Oh, and don't forget, Screechy Sarah expects rape victims to pay for their own rape kits.
H/t to Kagro X at dailyKos for the signpost about this ABC News report.
Monday, September 15, 2008
With feathers on his lips, the same ol' same ol says today the foundations of our economy are strong. And a McCain-Palin administration would bring accountability and transparency to Washington.
Then why are McCain's team advising and helping Palin obstruct and obfuscate the investigation of her alleged abuse of power as Governor of Alaska. Accountability? Transparency? I don't think so.
Why are the McCain team repeating the lies that have already been debunked, dishonored, and deplored across the political spectrum, by Republicans and Democrats alike?
Folks, you can't trust the fox to guard the henhouse...or fix it either. The Republicans controlled Congress for twelve years. They've controlled the White House the last seven-plus years.
Now they want another four years.
While Galveston lies in ruins, hidden away from public view. While New Orleans still languishes. While Americans from coast to coast, small towns to big city neighborhoods are being driven out of their homes by bankruptcy.
And the Republicans have mocked us from the moment they named their own network.
We've been out-Foxed long enough.
Vote Democratic in November.
Lehman Brothers in Bankruptcy...a company that survived the Civil War of the 19th Century and the Great Depression of the 20th Century cannot survive Bush-McCain Republican governing in the 21st Century.
Meanwhile, John McCain, surrounded by his lobbyist cronies like Phil Gramm and Charlie Black and his merchants of sleaze, tells us the fundamentals are strong.
But then when your wife flies you around in her corporate jet and wears $300,000 outfits to your Republican coronation and you have--what is it this week? 7? 9? 12? homes--and you get to put up your $500-shoe-clad feet at the end of a day of campaign lies and racist fearmongering and pandering for taxcuts for Cindy, I guess your economy is strong.
The rest of U.S., not so much.
We took a first step in 2006. Vote as if your country and your family depended on it.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Josh over at TPM provided the signpost this morning. The United States Naval Academy Honor Concept. Speaks for itself in this campaign.
"Midshipmen are persons of integrity: They stand for that which is right.
They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known. They do not lie.
They embrace fairness in all actions. They ensure that work submitted as their own is their own, and that assistance received from any source is authorized and properly documented. They do not cheat.
They respect the property of others and ensure that others are able to benefit from the use of their own property. They do not steal."
If you've been relying on the media to provide the full story of the current presidential campaign, well, not yet.
Take a trip up to Alaska via Mudflats this morning, and you'll learn about the story the McCainstream media, the oh-so-important networks, have totally missed so far. Or don't want you to know...
Last week, there was sure 'nuff, a welcome home rally for Sarah Palin.
There was also an "Alaska Women Reject Palin" rally:
Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here.The groundswell is real. The rejection of the McSame ol' Same ol' Palin-crony politics as usual is real. Whether the media get around to tellin' you or not.
On November 4, join your fellow Americans and vote for real change. Meanwhile, reach out to your fellow Americans and say, this year, no matter what your party or gender or voting history, go with reality, not spin, not smear. And vote.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
What does it say about the ol' Navy flyboy that he's willing to recklessly endanger the entire country...nay, the world...with his unvetted selection of just another petty ol' small town cronyist, cynically chosen because she wears skirts, who's in bed with Big Oil and Alaska separatists and dangerously incompetent and grudge-driven, to boot.
That he's four more years of the same ol'-same ol' politics by the lowest most cynical craven people who've driven the country into the ditch these last eight years?
Yeah, that's what I think, too.
And then some....petty officer McCain, not reporting for duty... as usual.
Everything you need to know about where Sarah Palin is coming from philosophically can be summed up in her aggressive push for the slaughter of wolves from airplanes.
Of course, if you're an ol' flyboy, that probably sounds appealing. Never need to look in the eye the people you're killin'. Just bomb, bomb, bomb. No wonder McCain, she calls him McCain, thinks she's his soulmate.
Isn't eight years of government by blood lust enough?
Friday, September 12, 2008
In her second televised interview, with Notorious Bespectacled Impish Gibson, Sarah Palin proved that, yes, she can be coached, she can put on a performance with talking points, she can hold her hands just so to reinforce what she's saying.
And my cocker spaniels have been trained to sit, and stay, and be good guys.
But being good guy ready to lead America--and Sarah herself says she doesn't think in gender terms, she's a product of Title 9 and a strong household, she's made choices all along the way (and doncha just love that she's gotten to make choices?), and sexism doesn't enter into it for her--is more than reciting talking points and modulating sincerity into your voice and cupping your hands in embrace of what you're saying.
Because the world is full of bad guys. And yesterday, the Palin partisans say, Gibson was a bad guy. 'cause he was, you know, a reporter. A reporter whose questions brought out more than just pronouncing strange names right, more than foreign policy tourist points. He brought out how totally out of her depth Sarah Palin was...like the Wasilla Warriors high school hockey team trying to take on Gretsky in his prime.
Today, Charlie was a good guy, a GMA guy, and the soft edges were all in place.
But apparently even that is too hard for Palin, because her next interview's reported to be with Sean Hannity. And we know what a hard-edged ferreter out of truth and reality ol' Hannity is.
Sidebar to Sarah: If, pish-posh, you had no intention of banning books, why did you keep asking about it after the first time? And why did you fire the librarian?
We saw today the problem with the media agreeing to these folksy sit-downs. Where's the follow-up? But I guess the hurly-burly of an actual press conference is too tough for Sarah Palin. 'cause Title 9 aside, she just doesn't have the knowledge...or the judgment about tough choices...or the time to cram for all the questions...or the guts to face the press.
She and the McCain campaign prefer to put Palin up in the rarefied helicopter air of Alaska and pick off the reporters one by one. As long as they get to do the picking. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way out here in the rest of the world.
When John McCain hired the same campaign team that smeared his own family with racist bilge in 2000 in South Carolina, he knew what he was buying.
When John McCain tells lie after lie after lie...repeatedly and often...even after the lies have been debunked, he knows what he is doing.
Sorry, Carville and Cronies, there is no dividing line between John McCain and his racist, lying campaign.
The lies, the race baiting are bought and paid for by John McCain.
Trying to say otherwise is a pig in a poke I just ain't buyin'. Out here in Prairie Country, no matter what the Beltway lobbyist/McCainiacs team and hangers-on try to tell us, we know pigs. And we know pig sh*t.
Hurricane Ike is blasting its way toward the Texas coast this morning, and we hope everybody gets their butts out of the way...get inland, take cover, think, and be safe.
There's another her-icane, name o'Sarah Palin, and she turned out to be a fizzle last night in her first interview with Charles Gibson on ABC.
Oh, the usual suspects are tryin' to put lipstick on the pig of an idea that she was picked on by the "arrogant schm*ck" as Imus called Gibson.
But c'mon, the woman was Clueless in Alaska...the coaching showed, she didn't "blink" and....
She didn't know what the fundamental foreign policy of this administration--the Bush Doctrine--even was. Much less that the Founding Fathers would reel in horror at America making pre-emptive strikes against other countries on the whim of a President.
Clearly Palin was coached. She knew how to pronounce Ahmedinejad and Shaakashvili. She was "on message" about blinking...or not. The message was meant to show her strength and her readiness on day one.
Trouble is, if you have to rely on coachers and trainers to prep you and pimp you, you ain't ready for the show.
And there's a helluva lot more to Russia than a nice view across the straits.
You gotta ask yourself, would you want this candidate teaching your child a junior high course in basic geography, or civics, or history? Much less a heartbeat away from the ol' man?
Is our kids learning? Is we?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Happy Birthday, son.
A milepost to remember.
And this signpost to more remembrance that haunts us still.
In a comment appended to her posting at firedoglake, Christy said:
...what could have been and was wasted in terms of unity of purpose from so many disparate sources within this country and around the world.What could have been. Never forget. Vote.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
With a nod to Atrios, my deep thought for the day, on the heels of the yelping from the hypocrites on the right and the reckless endangerment of picking the wretchedly underqualified Governor of arguably the mired deepest in corruption Republican led state in the country [although Mississippi and Alabama are right up there in the running], plus Tuesday's slimy untrue attack ad against Obama about sex education and the endless redundant repetition of No Thanks on the nowhere bridge and the per diems for the family and passing baby Trig around like a game ball....
One double-wide? Or two?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Well, for McCain's daughter, war is a great talking point.
After all, her daddy was a Vietnam war hero and did you know he was a POW...oh, and did I mention that Sarah Palin's son is going to Iraq on September 11? Yep, yep, yep, no other family understands war like the McCain family. Period.
And then there's this video...words from the mouth of McCain. And a few others. You must watch. You must see.
And you must act: register now if your state requires it. And vote.
This morning on Imus, Sally Quinn recounted the reaction to her writing about Sarah Palin. "I've been called the A word, the B word, the C word...by Christians."
What Quinn calls the most important election in 100 years is now in the hands of a voting electorate who in large numbers on the Republican/radical right wing are responding to McCain's [Quinn's words] "cynical" and "brilliant" naming of Palin as his running mate with not only enthusiasm, but also a vituperative knee-jerk ranting at any examination of that running mate.
Imus responded with the same tired old argument: yes, but would she be any worse than Cheney? [Or Bush, given the odds that old, unhealthy McCain wouldn't last his term]
Why, Imus or anyone who poses that argument, would we want to settle for someone who at best is described as "no worse than Cheney"? Is that really the best we can do?
And if so, what does that say about us?
Monday, September 8, 2008
The money quote from Tom Friedman as he makes appearances promoting his newest book (Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America)...
from Meet the Press to this morning's Imus Show to "who's next?"(Larry King, tonight)...
surely has to be: drill, drill, drill is an IBM Selectric in an IT world. That these times call desperately for change, not more of the same ol', same ol'.
So what's it say about The Invisible Candidate, John McCain, who boasts that he knows nothing about computers and IT and totally awesomely relies on his staff and Cindy?
And what's it say about The Invisible Candidate that he selects as his Soul/Runningmate a politician who wants to teach creationism in the schools, opposes stem cell research, started a book banning effort in Wasilla and left the tiny town $22 million in debt so she could have her own personal Palin Palace hockey arena, is under investigation for using the power of her office to fire government officials, both as mayor of the village of Wasilla and Governor of the State of Alaska?
That's downright Machiavelli...or de Medici...or Pontius Pilate.
They may talk change...and as Friedman notes in promoting his book, it's real change we desperately need...but it's actually self-described Mama's-Boy-McCain's March Back to the Middle Ages.
Better watch out, Roberta...Carol could tell you...when you least expect it, when you're most vulnerable, John-boy could dump you, too.
h/t Thinkprogress for the MTP signpost
Sunday, September 7, 2008
What does it say about the man who would be the next President of the United States that he cannot stand on his own two feet? Much less answer tough questions.
Hiding out from the media except for soft-n-fuzzy feel good interviews.
And the woman whom he chose to be a heartbeat away? Guess her priorities are going back to Alaska and trying to cover-up her scandals. Right after she wraps up these couple of days appearing before true believers of the right wing who are thrilled with her...what? Scandals? Sins? Ah, but there are none so blind as they who will not see because Dobson told them to cover their eyes.
What does it say about John McCain that he must be propped up on the road show...by Palin...and by Lieberman and Graham before her? By knowing the questions and Obama's answers to Rick Davis because he cheated about being sequestered?
What does it say? And why isn't the media asking?
Oh, but we must talk about lipstick instead. On the pitbull? Or the pig?
Words mean something, says Barack Obama, challenging Sarah Palin and the rest of the hate-spewing McCainiac team. "You can't just make stuff up."
Yes, words mean something.
Caroline Kennedy talked about how her children influenced her. How she sees in Barack Obama a sense of purpose and a quality of leadership that she has not seen in decades...a quality of leadership, she has been told, that reminds people of her father.
Words mean something.
So how about you? Have you had the conversation? Oh, I don't mean with other bloggers or commenters who agree with you. Nor with the folks you've met volunteering or canvassing for Obama.
Have you had the conversation with your own family? With your parents? With your grandparents?
The Sunshine family is now four generations strong...crossing party lines...but united in support of Barack Obama.
Because words mean something.
And images and "character" can be tissue thin--whether moose leather or $300,000 crass couture--while issues must be faced with honesty and truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, and no dissembling. Hypocrisy must be called out and rebuked. Racism and race-baiting must be shamed and shunned.
And it's not easy. The words don't slip off our own tongues as glibly and grinningly as a speech-written teleprompter's script. We struggle sometimes, telling our own parents or grandparents, aunts or uncles, why words mean something.
And honesty, as well.
And it may seem sometimes that we're in this alone, mocked by the Republicans, with a self-important puffed-up McCainstream media that too often shows that it is either hopelessly gullible and stupid and easily guiled or caring more for the face in the mirror than the face of real journalism instead of stenography or infotainment "news."
Because to think the agents of change will be the ones who got us in this mess for nearly eight long years is to be as vapid...and fearful...and self-dishonest...and flat-out screwed-up shallow as the cravens on the right are hoping that voters will be.
Their drumbeat will be loud, but we have the chance, each and every day, to have dinnertable conversations and talk the talk.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The past week havin' you feeling down? Wondering where in all the hoopla over the hockey mom and braggadocio about Pandering On War an ordinary middle class American could find some hope for his or her own family?
If the bliss of sandhill cranes [below] was a nice reprieve, but now you're lookin' for the beef, well take a listen to Biden.
And fire up...we've got work to do.
Nurturing the spirit that keeps us going even--especially!--in challenging times sometimes gets too little of our attention. The weekend spirit is something that should run as a thread through us every day. Most days, it doesn't. Lost in the focus on work or politics or whatever else comprises your busy multi-tasking life.
But on the weekends, you have the chance to step out of your routine, to try a new road, to find a new purpose that will reinvigorate and renew you. Christy over at fdl offered up a question this morning on bliss.
And sometimes it is sitting and absorbing, like the beauty of a symphony.
And sometimes it is stepping out the door and taking a step in a new direction.
Photo Credit: Mr. Sunshine, h/t to Christy and firedoglake for the signpost on Bliss, Prairie's quoted comment crossposted at firedoglake
Friday, September 5, 2008
Sarah Palin is not ready on day one.
Not ready to face the media.
Not ready to face.... questions.
Sarah Palin is not ready.
And the McCain who gambled on choosing her has shown by his narcissistic "I" speech and his pander to the most extreme rightwing of his base that he can't face issues. He can't face scrutiny.
He can only talk about character. Kinda funny when you think about it. A man who has to brag about his POW years...when he broke and betrayed his country with his own words. A man who has to talk about his Cinderella romance with Cindy...while he was still a married man with three children. A man who brags about being a reformer when he was caught with his hands deep in the Keating Five scandal.
Character you can believe in. Or not.
If you think about it.
MSNBC offers a little poll this morning. What did McCain's speech accomplish. Hmmmm. "Nothing" is not an option.
Funny how the McCainstream media keeps on hangin' around, panting for praise...like with positive-only options in the MSNBC poll. Is this the way the "real" polls operate, too? No wonder the media gets to game their horserace.
Meanwhile, you've got both McCain and Palin hiding out from the media, giving a nice little softball interview with Charlie Gibson to launch the convention. You remember Charlie Gibson--ol' flagpin, flagpin, flagpin. So if it's all about flagpins, where was McCain's last night?
Oh, wait, it's all about images, just bigger images. Like that giant waving flag... and the Walter Reed Jr. High (ooops!)... and the faked-up funeral footage... and....
So here's the image: Republicans love them some war.
And peacemaking? Making things better for communities? Being a community organizer? Mock that! United Way? Boy Scouts? Camp Fire Girls? That's so 0 A.D.
Media? You ragged us forever about what you saw as Obama failings. So where's the fair and balanced?
What's that you say? You'll get back to we, the people, soon...right after Nov. 4...right after you lick the BBQ sauce off your fingers?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Last night, Sarah Palin scathingly attacked Barack Obama's work as a community organizer.
Today, on his radio show, the chortly extremist redneck radio voice, Rush Limpballs, cited as the example of a community organizer Al Sharpton.
And then there's good ol' goober-state Rep. Lynn "10 Commandments" Westmoreland, saying Obama is uppity. Asked if that was what he meant to say, he repeated yes, uppity.
The dogwhistle politics of race-baiting and fearmongering that Lee Atwater once was so proud of is alive and well and slithering through the Republican Party again. That which John McCain once decried when used against his own family, he now owns, lock, stock and dogwhistle.
But hey, what's wrong with that, right? After all, Sarah Palin's a bold choice, a "hockey mom," and John McCain, he's a maverick with scars and was a "fighter."
Meanwhile, the rightwing racist bile is rising higher and higher, flowing up out of the sewers, and threatening to overtake the levees of democracy again. Who will be left to fight against it?
The Republicans threw a whopper of a round of after-dinner speechifyin' last night -- Romney, Ghouliani, Sister Sarah... and this mornin' the pundit class are all busy talkin' about all the red meat.
As Mark Whittaker, NBC's new news bureau chief called it, New York strip from Rudy, a whole side of moose from Palin.
But strip away the partisan sarcasm and division and dogwhistling, and we're right back to the same ol' same ol'...
And Sarah Palin? Mika Brezinski's luvin' all of it...
well, Mika, what exactly is she saying?
I'm askin'...where's the beef?
UPDATE: Turns out pollsters have been asking pretty much the same thing of women voters and here's what they're learning--outside the Republican Convention Hall and Mika's brain--American women are not buyin' what Palin's pimpin'. And here we go again on Nation Building at Home...this link/story appears in an Aussie newspaper.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
We are seeing already the outlines of the McCain strategy for Sarah Palin. Put the former sports announcer out front at the convention with her teleprompter.
Attack the media. Then send Sarah back to the Alaska frontier, land of moosehunters and the Alaska Independence Party.
Bring her out for a big send-off of her son to Iraq. Cue the cameras and the emotional hot-buttons.
Meanwhile, the coffins that come back home through the other veep's home state...no cameras allowed there.
Then send Sarah back to sequestration for "boot camp."
Meanwhile, keep up the drumbeat against the media. Cut off appearances by McCain on the easiest of television--Larry King--except, of course, for flagpin flagpin flagpin Charles Gibson.
Which leaves the media with no one to talk to...except the Anne Kilkennys of the world.
And we're back to the horserace.... as drummed up and phony as the Obama-Clinton horserace in the primaries? We'll see.
Because world events don't come with a script. Disasters don't come with a script. The test for McCain and Palin isn't how well they handle a teleprompter, it's how each--and both together--react when the script gets thrown away.
The McCainstream media are earnin' their barbeque sauce this morning. Mika, Norah, the Usual Republican spinners are all pushin' the Sarah Ingenue Baby Mommy culture wars.
And pushing the pro-life anti-choice meme.
Bullshit. It's all about ginning up the fundamentalist base. And the MSM are happily enabling right along.
Senator Amy Klobuchar said this weekend that this was an election about agenda, not gender. And hasn't been seen since.
Vetting? Corruption? Lying about her "reformer" cred? Dangerously unqualified and extremist in her views on everything from the environment to the war to what the veep even does...
Don't confuse the Vapid Vapors Media when they're hot on the trail of a fairy tale.
Issues won't be the topic insist the McCainiacs, character will. But issues have a way of dropping right in your lap when you least expect it. And no I don't mean premarital sex resulting in pregnancy and early marriage which seems to be the mother-daughter bond in the Palin family.
That's the kind of fluff that passes for news in too many circles these days.
For families who live with chronic disease, the news we care about, the news we set up our google alerts for, comes more and more from overseas these days.
Like this news story about research into genetic predisposition to develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia [CLL], the most common form of leukemia in the western world.
Earlier this week, Tom Friedman, on the Imus show, talked about the importance of Nation Building at Home. He cited physical infrastructure, talking about how the US lags behind other countries in such things as airports.
But there are a lot of other areas where we're lagging behind as well. Like medical research.
And the fact that John McCain has selected as his running mate Sarah Palin, who doesn't believe in a manmade cause of global warming, who threatened to fire Wasilla's librarian over banning books, who flouted the fishing laws of Alaska, who promotes abstinence-only sex education, who's literally and figuratively married to Big Oil...well, that gives me pause.
Reckless endangerment comes to mind, and I'm not just talkin' the puffery over Palin's supposed vast foreign policy experience from living right "next door" to Russia....
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
McCain campaign team sayin' this election will be about "character," not "issues."
Are they really sure they're ready for that debate?
After all, this is the guy who took out a marriage license to marry the booze heiress Cindy before he was even divorced from disabled Carole...earning the contempt of Just-Say-No Nancy...
and my, wasn't that big a him....
Commenter Badwater over at firedoglake provided a link to this vital information.
Must reading for every American voter: Anne Kilkenny on her hometown neighbor, Sarah Palin.
One hopes the McCainstream Media are all planning to talk to her. Apparently, the McCain campaign vetting team never did.
This morning on the Imus Show, Tom Friedman introduced a theme he says is vital and not being addressed by either party in this election campaign: nation building at home.
I guess he wasn't listening to Barack Obama's Invesco Field speech and Obama's plan for funding innovation and entrepreneurship and new energy technologies. Maybe Friedman was jet-porting somewhere between Beijing and HongKong or something.
This morning we're seeing already in George W. Bush's infomercial for the Republican "drill, drill, drill" mantra that the Rethug solution is NOT innovation and new technologies. Nope. The same ol' same ol' party ain't going to be the one to heed Friedman's message that innovative energy technology and nation-building-at-home are what this election should be about.
For those who are landlocked inside our borders, quaking in the corner while Lou Dobbs thunders about keeping the "out" out, nodding in agreement with Cokie's calling our 50th State foreign and exotic, for those who suck up everything the Limbaugh - Hannity - reichwing talk radio is pissin' the way their SUVs suck up gas, the Rethuglican party is right on point.
But for those who stop and actually analyze the problem and educate themselves and vote for their best interests instead of against, this is a pivotal moment.
Do we want more of the same ol' same ol' that keeps us with the hands of Putin and Saudi on America's cojones puttin' the squeeze...cause that's what oil dependence offers us.
Do we want more of the same ol' same ol' that leaves us playin' catch-up...or worse yet, sitting on the side of the road as the world passes us by?
Friedman put it about as succinctly and so vividly even the shallow thinkers oughta "get it"...flying from Shanghai to LaGuardia is like flying from The Jetsons to The Flintstones....
So pick your issues this year, folks...I've got my take. Scarborough&Mika pushing the Palin pregnant kid story in the typical "we're so offended this is being talked about that we're going to talk about it" phony fashion.
In the long run, I don't care diddly-doo about whether somebody's kid is knocked-up.
I do care that too many in what Friedman calls "brain dead Washington" are perpetuating knocking all of us down.
Audio of Friedman not yet up on the website, but here's the page where Imus Show interviews appear as soon as available.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Much to-do being made today about the McCain family...and the Bush family...and the Palin family.
And the families of NOLA and the Gulf Coast.
But lest we forget, there are other families we must be mind-full of, too, in the countdown to November 4.
So while the Rethugs party on in St. Paul...and make no mistake, behind the curtain they're partying away...and turning disaster into politically opportunistic photo-op moments.... there are still Americans like Dwan Fairbanks.
What does it say about the man who wants to be the leader of the free world, that amid two wars, a crumbling economy, housing crisis, recession, and the rising winds of Gustav, John McCain selected with craven political expediency as the person to sit a heartbeat away from the presidency someone so dangerously inexperienced and unprepared?
Don't the Republicans ever learn?
And a sidebar just for fun: Oh, and, what does it say that the Gustav winds tore to shreds the Fox sign in NOLA, live on MSNBC.
What does it say about the state of our ability to take care of ourselves as a nation that a Canadian Forces C-17 has landed in New Orleans prepared to evacuate medically vulnerable persons?
That we are so vulnerable as a country that we cannot provide for ourselves the basic functions of government.
Think Chertoff or Bush or McSame-ol', Same-ol' or the vastly executive-experienced Sarah Barracuda will be asked about this? Or, let's be bi-partisan...this all falls under the watchful eye of the Senate committee "co-chaired" by L'il Joey Lieberman and Susan Collins. What's this say about their malfeasance?
Maybe immigrant bashers like Lou Dobbs would like to chime in with an opinion.... or will the Vapid Vapors McCainstream Media simply cover their eyes and ears and pretend the vast Oz-ian curtain isn't there....
Country First? Nevahmind....
And has anybody taken the time to say "thank you"?