28 September 2008

McCain did "fail in" (heh-heh) convincing undecideds!

While McCain was claiming that he had "suspended" his campaign, and that his participation in saving the economy was more important so he would forgo the debate, he was preparing an ad claiming debate victory. Rather like the child coming home bruised, bleeding and battered from the playground fight telling his dad that he had pounded the dickens out of the other guy's fists with his face.

Did McCain win. Here from electoralvote.com

Polling data suggests otherwise. (And it is important to remember that in every McCain/Obama poll that Obama starts with 6% deficit to overcome due to incipient racism.)

"A CBS poll using random sampling showed 39% saw Obama as the winner and 24% see McCain as the winner. An Inside Advantage poll reported a virtual tie, with 42% saying Obama won and 41% saying McCain won. An Opinion Research poll done for CNN gave Obama the win, 51% to 38%, with men splitting evenly and women going for Obama 2 to 1. However, the sample had a slight Democratic bias.

A poll on CNN's Website with 80,500 respondents gave Obama the victory 67% to 28%. An NBC survey, which drew 291,000 responses gave the victory to Obama 51% to 35%. Democracy Corps ran a 45-person focus group in St. Louis. The group was heavily tilted towards the Republicans, with 33% identifying as Republicans, 27% identifying as Democrats, and the rest independents. The group as a whole voted for Bush over Kerry by a 2-to-1 margin in 2004. Nevertheless, by a 38% to 27% margin, they felt that Obama won the debate.

All in all, Obama did what he had to do. He convinced a majority of the voters that he can handle foreign affairs at least as well as McCain, maybe better. All he really needed was a tie, because virtually every poll has shown that large majorities support Obama on domestic issues."

MediaCurves which includes cell phone and web-based polling techniques gives the "independents" to Obama by 61% over McCain's 39% overall. Their 2008 Debate Results site shows the breakout of various categories such as; Iraq, The Economy, National Defense and so forth.

27 September 2008

Thoughts about the debate

No wonder McCain wanted to bail, watching him was like watching my grandfather kvetch. No strike that. My grandfathers were essentially nice guys—McCain is so essentially not a nice guy. This fellow, McCain, who has the world by the ass, is just another angry old white-guy. The only thing missing is the white beard to hide the fat jowls and driving the beat-to-hell, faded, butterscotch-yellow, Datsun pick-up truck with a Bush/Cheney sticker. He has thirteen cars, none of which, I’ll just bet, is a faded, etc., etc.

McCain was dismissive, insulting and contemptuous of Obama and never looked his way when making snide and snarky comments about him. Even conservative commentators noted his rudeness. This may account for the fact that the internals of the debate polls indicate that women, by a significant majority, found Obama favorable and McCain unfavorable. Many more people asserted they had a more favorable impression of Obama from the debate than they had for McCain. Who wants a glowering, hunched-up, angry old white guy preaching at them—most have had enough of that when asking dad for the car keys!

Why in the world would he keep invoking the specters of Reagan and Nixon? That might play well with the angry old white-guys in their compact pick-ups, but most of us see Nixon as a perfidious bastard who escaped impeachment by resignation, and Reagan as the primary architect of the deregulation resulting in our higher monthly electric bills and substantially contributing to the current economic catastrophe. Why raise those ugly reference points in people’s minds? Good grief?

This was supposed to be McCain’s strong suit; foreign policy and national security, however it was Obama who had the facts and outlined a program for the future while McCain self-indulgently basked in Vietnam era and Cold War hot-button talking points. One wanted to shout, “John there are several generations of voting-age adults out there watching this for whom Vietnam and the Cold War are vague memories of high-school mid-term essay assignments. There are some really dangerous things going on in the here and now!”

Actually, Obama did tell him that when he mentioned a nuke in a suitcase!

Last night, I was a little disappointed that Obama did not take the opportunity to “dope-slap” McCain on his misrepresentations and lies. And, I felt he was a bit generous in acknowledging there were points of agreement between them. My personal preference is to go for the jugular and have blood spraying the walls.

But after a good night’s sleep, some reflection, and a quick review of the polls, I’ve changed my mind—and so have others. Obama came across as a decent, respectful, caring and knowledgeable man and most women do not really care for personal attack and contentious argument. If, as most pundits say, white women are the key to this election, then Obama’s presidential bearing compared to just another angry, old white guy carried the night!

26 September 2008

Friday Blogosphere Round-Up

John McCain parachutes into Washington to wreck a serious negotiation about a subject he knows nothing about. George Bush stages a fiasco meeting that was nothing more than a McCain campaign ad that failed. Sarah Palin sounds incoherent and ridiculous discussing Russia. The national debt rises above $11 trillion and the budget deficit approaches $500 billion, destined to rise again because of an incompetently organized bailout of bankers.


It is time to confront an awkward but profound question: whether in picking Palin as his running mate, McCain has committed -- by his own professed standards of duty and honor -- a singularly unpatriotic act.


Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, admitting that until recently she was a vocal supporter of Sarah Palin, now says the vice presidential nominee should bow out:


Another cringe-inducing performance by Sarah Palin in part II of her interview with Katie Couric.

In the segment below, Couric presses Palin to explain why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience. Palin doesn't seem to have improved her answer since she was asked the same question by Charlie Gibson.

Lately, John McCain has been serving up some real howlers—claims ridiculously out of kilter with his record—all delivered with a straight face. Here’s three


Will America's most well known POW go MIA tonight? Apparantly not, as he has capitulated and boarded an airplane destined for William Faulkner's hometown.

One wonders though. Does this man not realize the dithering jackass figure he cuts?

25 September 2008

McCain fools no one!

Oh, the games people play now
Every night and everyday now
Never meanin' what they say now
Never sayin' what they mean....

Remember this one from Joe South? Give it a quick listen, you'll recall it.

Here’s your guide to what McCain really means when he says…La da da dah, La da da dee, Oh the games...

Says: I’m suspending my campaign

Means: I will pull my TV ads and save that money for later while posturing as the savior of the economy and getting free “earned media” coverage. Sure it’s a risk, because people might see me as a craven putz, but the conservatives will rally around me as a wise, experienced leader.

And, after all, I’ll still have all my surrogates doing the interview shows. It won’t be like my campaign is really, really shut down.

And, it will distract the media and national attention from the fact that I’m taking a big-time ass-whipping in the polls and that my lobbyist campaign manager has been linked to a failing Wall-Street firm being investigated for fraud by the FBI.

Says: We need to postpone the debates, saving the economy is too important.

Means: Damn, I can whip Obama’s butt from here to Sunday on national security and foreign policy, but with this “economy thingee” (Palin’s influence is already showing) distracting everyone, no one will pay attention. I’ll be losing my best opportunity in the debates if we go with this topic right now.

And since the dumb-ass public has no clue to how the process really works, you know the committees do it all, I’ll be seen as a man of action, putting ethics before self. They won't notice that I sat in the meeting with the Prez and offered nothing, as I have all along...nada!

OK, back to reality, I’m thinking that a Senator who claimed not to be all that up on economics, and who asserted a few days back that the economy is fundamentally sound really has no damned thing to offer the negotiations. Perhaps he could send Sarah in his place, she could at least explain the earmarks process if she could get someone to listen without smirking and breaking into cackles of disbelief.

No, forget that. We’d be best served by both their absences!

24 September 2008

McCain yells " Calf Rope"!

What do you do when you’re getting your ass kicked? Hell, down here in Texas you yell “Calf Rope!” I guess over in Arizona it’s, “Let’s cancel the debate and focus on the economy, instead”. I think the Republican phrase is to, "cut and run".

But, the rules are, if you yell “calf rope” it means you’re confessing to getting a butt whipping, and just don’t want no more. Kids on my boyhood playgrounds called it, “King’s X”, or “time-out”. It all means the same thing, the other fellow is up on you, and you need some relief.

So now we have McCain, who is slipping further and further behind in every poll, whose vice-presidential selection has become the staple of late night jokesters, and whose campaign manager is revealed to be a lobbyist tied to a Wall Street firm which is under FBI fraud investigation, calling for a postponement of the Friday debate, in order for him to “focus on the economy” ie. "Calf Rope".

Finally, we have some transparency in government. This is as transparent as it gets. McCain is getting a right proper little butt whipping and looking for way out in order to once again regroup. And, to merely say he is taking an ass whipping misses the point.

Just a day or so ago, conservative mossback pundit, and all around twit, George Will, acknowledged that McCain’s behavior was frightening, and did not bode well for the country (I add—the entire freaking world) should he be elected. Will admitted that Obama’s supposed “lack of experience” was highly desirable to McCain’s “erratic” utterances and behavior.

Now, there comes a time in every parent’s life when you have to encourage a tearful child to hang in and not give up, and that sometimes you have to take a few knocks, and not yell King’s X”, no matter how bad you want to. It looks as though McCain missed that lesson.

“Let’s stop the campaign and focus on the economy”, sounds uncannily like my sixth grade buddy, Bobby Half-pint, up at the Water Tower Playground, while in the middle of a losing fist-fight, taking off, and while running away up the hill, crying out that he could hear his mother calling him home for dinner.

Someone needs to advise McCain that the moment for his “taking care of the economy” was lost about the time got himself enmeshed with the Keating Savings and Loan boondoggle, and subsequent years of deregulation, and that a president really has to deal with more than one thing at a time.

After all one can't really tell Putin that he has other things to focus on right now--Cindy is calling him home to dinner.

23 September 2008

Full Stomachs & Short Memories = THIS!

Elections, even stolen ones, have consequences. Had not a lot of well-intentioned, but misguided, working people and older Americans with full-stomachs and short-memories voted for Bush, the elections could not have been stolen and we would not be in this situation. Please consider this excellent posting from another forum, which was compiled by a fellow of my acquaintance named Blue Mark, of bluehorde.blogspot.com

That entire post is here: http://bluehorde.blogspot.com/2008/0...-8-and-my.html

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
- Section 8 of the Wall Street bailout bill

Nothing to be alarmed about - unless you think giving unchecked power and funds to the people who allowed this meltdown to happen in the first place is ... problematic. And gee ... wouldn't it be easy to steal if no one can oversee what you are doing and no court can hold you accountable? It's not like we haven't seen a billion dollars or 12 slip through the cracks before.

And then there is this - Welcome to the final stages of the coup... which sees this as the fulfillment of Prescott Bush's Business Plot to overthrow the US Government and replace it with a fascist regime. And even if this 'enabling act' fails, they still have this.

Here's some mood music to listen to while checking out the links. You might want to lower speaker volume, they rock:

Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts Now

Billy Bragg - All You Fascists

18 September 2008

ANNOUNCEMENT & an Assignment for YOU!

I will be AFK this weekend attending the "Growing Young Expo" in Austin. I will be hosting the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans booth in the non-profit pavilion and then leading a workshop at 6:00 pm, Saturday, on Death by Donut Hole, and Saving Social Security.

Meanwhile, I'd like to leave an assignment for every one. I'd like to open this blog to guest articles, and to add a discussion forum. But, before I do that, I need some feedback from you, the loyal readers.

If you would be interested in contributing to this blog, or if you would like to see added a "topical" discussion forum please let me know.

E-mail me at asfx@aol.com

or, click into my guestbook and leave the information, or click on comments.

Thanks, back on Monday 9/22.

Issues - McCain's grip on things!

We were watching a program on TV yesterday evening which had a commercial for an Alzheimer’s treatment. Maybe you’ve seen it. It’s a bit disquieting because it hits at that secret, unspoken level of fear shared by most of us, ”What if I lose my faculties?

You can’t experience the aging process without sometimes feeling it. “Anyone see where I put my keys...this time.” “What do you mean, I said the same thing half an hour ago.” And, my favorite, “Damn it, I know her name as well as my own, but just can’t recall it”.

It happens, and it is irrationally unsettling when it does. There’s a reason for it, and it really isn’t all that dire. The fact is that, as we age, we process things a bit differently, and, after all, we have more stored data to sift through than we did when we were thirty. And certainly, the keys and glasses get found—sometimes in the freezer, but found. And the forgotten name pops back in our head, sometimes waking us bolt upright at two AM, but the memory was there, and returned--tardy, but intact!

All part of the deal, and, we’ve always have heard that aging is not for sissies. Right?

But, in this drug commercial, the confusion was deeper and more frightening. A foursome of older people were at the bowling alley when one of the men realized his wife was missing. Shortly, she was returned by a couple of strangers saying, “We found her outside, she seemed confused”.

As I said, the commercial strums those chords of dread shared by all who sometimes put the keys in the refrigerator and the butter in the sock drawer.

I mention this; because I fear John McCain may be at the point that he is wandering about the bowling alley a bit confused. And, I want to say this; I am uncomfortable even suggesting it, because I so much resent the assumptive stereotypes older people encounter.

However, since he is going to be the only “older person” seeking the presidency, I am going to write of my concern.

Recently he gave a confused and confusing and more than slightly addled response to a Spanish reporter on whether or not he would meet with the Spanish Prime Minister. His answer was vague and made reference to Latin America and Mexico but had nothing at all to do with Spain. The poor reporter did her best to channel him back on target all but taking his hand and kindly saying, “But, I’m asking about Spain, you know, in Europe.” But, John was on a roll and made more Latin American and Hispanic references.

Then there are his self-contradictory, same-day utterances on the economy, where in the morning he told a crowd that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong”, and few hours later telling a different crowd the “fundamentals of our economy are at risk”. Then there is this non sequitur response to a question about Palin’s qualification to head up an initiative program for women, “She was the point guard on a female basketball team”.

The well being of his mental state is a legitimate concern. And, it is quite one thing for you and I to misplace our glasses periodically, or forget the name of "that movie star that was in the movie that was about explorers", and quite another to not understand that a question about meeting with the Prime Minister of Spain has naught to do with Latin America or to assert that playing basketball in high-school qualifies one to lead a national-level initiative program.

Most of us have attributed his “flip-flops” (fundamentally sound-fundamentally at risk) to mere political expedience. I mean, after all, that’s what politicians do, right? But, what if those flip-flops and self-contradictions are symptomatic?

What if John McCain has wandered away from the group he came in with and is roaming around the parking lot “confused”?

Shouldn’t we know? Shouldn’t we ask?

As an older person, it truly pains me to ask, but we have a right for concern, don't we?

17 September 2008

Issues - The Economy

Yesterday I gave Obama top billing on Social Security. Today McCain gets the first shot on the economy.

John McCain debating John McCain!

"Fundamentals of our economy are strong"

Hours later, "Fundamentals of our economy at risk!"

One does wonder, from whence came his epiphany? Oh well, stranger things have happened. Such as, he was against regulation all these years before he championed it today!

And now, Obama

In the past few weeks, Wall Street’s been rocked as banks closed and markets tumbled. But for many of you – the people I’ve met in town halls, backyards and diners across America – our troubled economy isn’t news. 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs since January. Paychecks are flat and home values are falling. It’s hard to pay for gas and groceries and if you put it on a credit card they’ve probably raised your rates. You’re paying more than ever for health insurance that covers less and less.

This isn’t just a string of bad luck. The truth is that while you’ve been living up to your responsibilities Washington has not. That’s why we need change. Real change. This is no ordinary time and it shouldn’t be an ordinary election. But much of this campaign has been consumed by petty attacks and distractions that have nothing to do with you or how we get America back on track.

Here’s what I believe we need to do. Reform our tax system to give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class instead of showering more on oil companies and corporations that outsource our jobs. End the ‘anything goes’ culture on Wall Street with real regulation that protects your investments and pensions. Fast track a plan for energy ‘made-in-America’ that will free us from our dependence on mid-east oil in 10 years and put millions of Americans to work. Crack down on lobbyists – once and for all — so their back-room deal-making no longer drowns out the voices of the middle class and undermines our common interests as Americans.

And yes, bring a responsible end to this war in Iraq so we stop spending billions each month rebuilding their country when we should be rebuilding ours. Doing these things won’t be easy. But we’re Americans. We’ve met tough challenges before. And we can again. I’m Barack Obama. I hope you’ll read my economic plan. I approved this message because bitter, partisan fights and outworn ideas of the left and the right won’t solve the problems we face today. But a new spirit of unity and shared responsibility will.

16 September 2008

The Issues - Obama vs. McCain (Social Security)

Over the next few days and weeks, we’ll take a close look at what Barack Obama and John McCain have put on the record regarding the key issues confronting working families and seniors.

Today: Social Security


“...it is probably the most important and most successful program that our country has ever created. I remain committed to making sure Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and into the future.

“...long-term cash flow of the program needs to be addressed. This is a real manageable problem. But the longer we wait to solve the problem, the bigger it grows.”

“...I will come to the table with an open mind and listen to all options. But I believe that benefits should not be cut, the retirement age should not be raised, but instead the wealthiest should pay a little bit more through a raise in the payroll tax ceiling to ensure that the most successful social program in history stays strong. I also believe that privatization of Social Security, which I have long opposed, is not a valid option for us to consider because it tears the fabric of Social Security—the idea of mutual responsibility—by subjecting a secure retirement to the whims of the market, and that is not an acceptable way to strengthen this program.”


“Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed.”

“We’ve got a ticking time-bomb out there. And it’s called the Social Security Trust Fund.”

“ more young Americans believe Elvis is alive than believe that they’ll ever see a Social Security check.”

“Without privatization, I don't see how you can possibly, over time, make sure that young Americans are able to receive Social Security benefits."

"I want young workers to be able to, if they choose, to take part of their own money, which is their taxes, and put it in an account which has their name on it."

“As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it — along the lines that President Bush proposed.”

And, just for the record. Here are 10 very good reasons why privatizing even a portion of Social Security is a bad notion:

1. Does nothing to strengthen Social Security’s solvency.
2. Cuts guaranteed benefits, regardless of whether or not you choose a private account.
3. Gambles Social Security benefits in the stock market and leaves them open to corporate misconduct.
4. Costs more than the current system of guaranteed, life-long benefits of Social Security.
5. Explodes the national debt and creates new debt future generations will have to pay.
6. Undermines Social Security’s family protections, causing more disabled workers and retirees to live in poverty.
7. Forces workers to pay higher costs for the same insurance benefit Social Security offers.
8. Diverts funds for Social Security beneficiaries into management fees and administrative costs for Wall Street firms.
9. Creates an immediate financial crisis for Social Security by draining money from the Trust Fund.
10.Destroys the guaranteed, inflation-proof benefits of Social Security, and replaces with private accounts that reduce benefits and put workers’ money at risk.

15 September 2008

McCain's Lies & Distractions - Let's Focus on Issues

Here’s a comment from a “loyal reader” of this blog, which I think is worthy of sharing:


I certainly agree with what you say, in your post about Palin. However, that is not the argument we should be having. McCain's whole campaign has been an effort to divert public attention from the issues that we face in this election. The economy! Social Security! The Deficit! The Iraq war! Invasion of our privacy! And all of Bush's assault on the working class that McCain supports.

I recommend that everyone review the positions of the two candidates. This info is available on their respective web sites:

Obama : http://origin.barackobama.com/taxes/ .

McCain : http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/ .

Our motto should be, "It's the issues, stupid!"

Name withheld….

PS: You may recall that earlier in the campaign, the McCain people made a big stink over Obama not wearing a flag pin on his lapel (to divert from the issues). Did you notice that, on the recent cover of News Week showing McCain and Palin, Palin is wearing a large, jeweled flag pin, but McCain is not? I don't think he wore one during his acceptance speech either. This a trivial point but I thought it a bit humorous.”

And, to this I only want to add that, I completely agree. The more we focus on the Palin distraction is the more we shift our focus from the McCain lies and promises to continue the disastrous policies of the Bush administration.

There’s an old political axiom that no one wins by getting into a “pissing” contest with a skunk. But, that doesn’t mean we have to back down on the issues, or the smear campaign, or the lies coming from the McCain camp. We need to stay on the issues, be prepared to rebut and challenge every shibboleth and canard and not get caught up in the distractions. We must be knowledgeable of McCain's real position. And while it is fun to make screw of McCain's nitwit running mate, we need to exercise care that we do not allow that to become our focus--McCain promises to administer Bush's third term. We do not want that.

Here’s a Obama video going after the lies!

And, issues? Here’s a look some issues driving people to vote Republican.

13 September 2008

IKE! Very grim!

First. Here's a link to a site with four of the major Houston TV stations on screen at the same time. You will have to mute and adjust the sound for each according to your preference. Shades of LBJ.

Four Houston TV-Stations - On Screen

At 8:20 AM, it appears that much of Houston and Galveston Island are flooded. More than 100,000 homes are submerged. Buffalo Bayou is breaching, Little Vince Bayou has breached, with others already over their banks. And it will worsen as the feeder bands come ashore later in the day.

Early indications are that this is the storm which experts have warned about since the 70s. The massive build up over the cane and rice fields, and swamps, around Houston has created a nightmare of subsidence and run off. Years ago this water would have been absorbed into the ground. Now it has nowhere to go

Rescue and emergency teams have not reported from Galveston island yet, but as the day goes on, I fear some heavy casualties...with this proviso, the storm surge went in North of the Island, so the anticipated 20-foot wall of water did not happen.

Here in E. Texas, we're already seeing light rain bands and moderate winds, as tropical storm force weather is expected later in the morning or midday. Pets are spooky and clingy.

We've battened down the hatches, cleared the yard of ornaments and things which can fly through the air, and while we still have power we will attempt to reach out and check on family in Houston.

Lights just flickered, ok, still on.

12:00 Noon. Still have power. Houston family members are accounted for, drenched, frightened and well. One lives out by Hobby Airport and went through 95 MPH winds--fence down, roof damage, trees down. Son in Missouri City reports trees down, one huge Pecan tree down across garage, but fine with generator working. Grandson and his mother have not reported in yet, but they are in a very solid building in Sugarland, well south of the worst of it, and should be well except for potential for flooding of that area.

Here, we've had rains and gusty winds which are starting to pick up some. Dogs and I romped in the rain an hour or two ago, now in the house for the duration. The storm is still a Cat1 hurricane and the leading edge is about about forty miles south of us, making straight for our neighborhood. It's going to be an interesting afternoon and evening! Dang!

7:00 PM Lost power at about 1:00 PM and it came back on a little after six. Gosh, now I regret eating that gallon of ice cream to keep it from going to waste. Buuuuurp!

Sorry, just joking? Kept the freezer shut.

Neighbors tree crashed down on their carport and car, but, other than that just a lot of wind and rain, which is now diminishing.

See you on the high ground, if you make it!

12 September 2008

Palin - A Blond Joke in a Brunette Wig!

Last night, I was engaged in one of those message board (Forum) war of words with a guy from West (By God) Virginia who asserted that the ‘far left” was terrified of Palin.

Not the Democrats mind you. Not the liberals. Not the progressives either. Nor the mere left. No panic there, but the f-a-a-a-a-a-r left, now that's different, they're in a panic. Understand, this guy and I have peed all over each other’s tree stumps before, and I truly suspect he is the bastard child of John Birch and Phyllis Schlafly and reared to post-adolescent rage by David Duke.

Fear? No! Cautious optimism? Yes!

Actually, Obama has a firm hold on all the Kerry states, and really only needs to pick up three others. Again, even though McCain has a slight edge in the polls right now, his edge is not as high as Obama's was prior to the convention, and it will wane. It is as I've said all along, every bounce McCain gets is a catch up, but it just never sticks and holds him in front.

Palin on ABC, last night, repudiated the "Bush Doctrine" of preemptive war, and locked herself and McCain into that repudiation. As one correspondent wrote…

“The "Bush Doctrine" is the basis for our invasion of Iraq. It's kind of a big deal. Now, maybe a McCain-Palin administration would instead have the "McCain Doctrine", which would essentially be the Bush Doctrine but with even more aggressive rhetoric, or the "Palin Doctrine", which would be that... um... spreading democracy via offshore oil drilling is good, and stuff. Or something -- it's not clear. But this "justification for war" stuff is, you know, the sort of thing that's just a wee bit important for our purported future leaders to pay a little attention to…”

It'll get worse for her. And, here's a nasty little stat you can gnaw on, her unfavorables with moderates are higher than her favorables with conservatives. There is softness for the McCain ticket in those numbers. And bear in mind, most of this bounce is in the South. Surprised?

Her clueless, blasé, moose in the headlights, misunderstanding (Hah! Try no knowledge at all) of the "Bush Doctrine" really exposed her ditzy weakness—she is freaking clueless in the way stereotypical cartoon bimbos are clueless—she’s a blond joke in a brunette wig. I don't use the term nitwit loosely, and this woman is a nitwit!

Terrified? Of this? I hardly think so.

11 September 2008

9/11 the next!

There’s enough maudlin, teary-eyed, chest-beating, posturing, hair-rending and teeth gnashing going on today over the events of September 11, 2001 without my adding to it. It was a horrible day which triggered devastatingly catastrophic changes in America from which we may never fully recover.

But, I’ve just got to tell you, I was not as surprised by it as some. McVeigh’s attack on sanity in Oklahoma City should have been sufficient for people to understand our vulnerability. News videos of IRA car bombs in London should have been sufficient for people to understand our vulnerability. Americans returning from tips abroad with tales of posters warning against unaccompanied packages in London subway stations should have been sufficient for people to understand our vulnerability.

Five days before the Iranian hostage crises I flew out of New York Kennedy on an El Al flight to Israel. I and the others were shepherded by Israeli officials to an isolated holding area at the airport and were questioned and scanned before being herded aboard a bus and driven far out on the fringe of the airport tarmac to board our plane. No jet way, no friendly flight attendants or nodding pilots greeted us as we boarded. Instead, unsmiling armed guards with Uzis oversaw our embarkation.

That was sufficient for me to understand our vulnerability.

So, of all the emotions coming from that day; and there are many; anger, fear, frustration, outrage, empathy and sympathy, pride at the courage of the police and fire, and ordinary people who stepped up, and a great sadness. But, I had no surprise or dismay. It had been coming. And it had been coming for a very long while. No. No one should have been surprised.

When you have a group of religious fanatics telling you that they wish you dead, you really ought to heed them—especially when they have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to fulfill their wishes throughout the world. When you have experts on global terrorism tell you over-and-over, year-in-and-year-out that those homicidal lunatics are looking for ways to bring it home to you, you really ought to heed them. And, when you see the rest of the world taking prudent precautions to alert and protect citizens and innocent people from these fanatics, well, you really, really ought to pay heed.

Now, I caution you not to be surprised when the next “hit” happens. It is only a matter of time, a matter of when and not of if. And, when it comes, once again it will be due to our ability to ignore the obvious and whistle our way through the graveyard. But, don’t take my word for it, go to the bi-partisan Partnership for A Secure America and see why they’ve given a grade of “C” to our government’s efforts since September 11, 2001 to protect us from Nuclear, Biological and Chemical weapons (WMD) in the hands of terrorists.

Now, a gentlemanly “C” might be sufficient to get you a credit for Western Civilization since 1920, but it hardly suffices for the government of a country already savaged and still targeted by religious psychopaths. We deserve better than this!

10 September 2008

Palin - Pigs - Politics

Oh lord love a duck! The republictives are in a right proper old tizzy and hissy fit over Obama's pig in lipstick comment. Dare I say it? Yes, I shall--they are squeeling like stuck pigs. There! I feel better already. And, I am laughing my butt off at their hypocrisy and fake outrage.

But, first let me take you back in time. Back when America was simpler, and pigs and pit bulls didn't go around putting on airs and wearing lip stick. Back then pigs and dogs, especially pit bulls, kept in their place, I'll tell you what. And, I think America was better for it.

This was back when I was bit older than a gawky teenager, but not yet the distinguished gentleman that I now am, and the ink on my journalism degree still smeared. It was a time when political green beans such as I, sat at the feet of men like John Henry Faulk and Ralph Yarborough, and learned the lessons of Texas politics.

The first rule, Shane, they'd say, "is that you've got to be the first one to accuse your opponent of screwing pigs, and then you just sit back and let him deny it."

Well, despite the evolution of pigs and dogs into fashionistas, the rule still holds, and it doesn't just apply to Texas. That line about lipstick on pigs has been out there in politics for some time now. And, Obama is not the first one to use it in this campaign in the context of something related to a female opponent. Here's a video of McCain breaking bad on Hillary, and for funsies, and to spread the love around, the one below is of Darth Voldemort putting lip stick on John Kerry's pig.

Dang, they just make it so damned easy!

09 September 2008

The real reason Palin should not be elected!

By all rights I should be dead, and so should John McCain. Each of us has lived at least a decade longer than the actuarial tables projected for our sex, race, and years of birth as projected at our time of birth. He’s older than I, by some time, but those tables were there, for both of us. And both of us have lived fairly hard—his prison camp experience and bouts with cancer, and my multiple high-speed car crashes, motorcycle lay downs, bar fights, Marine Corps years, and just general ability and propensity to raise hell since I hit fourteen have taken a toll.

My point with all that is this: neither of us, McCain nor I, have any business investing in any long term projects requiring our continued presence and direct involvement. If we don’t die, at some point we’re going to have to take off our packs and blow a bit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think that healthy guys our ages (me more than him, since I'm younger) need to take on what we feel we can take on. But, by the same token, the reality is that our minds, and bodies, could go south on us a lot quicker than when we were fifty-something. And, again, neither of us are poster boys for good clean living. Oh yeah...the point! Right. In my case, life would go on, and with the exception of my absence, things would be as they were all along—not so with McCain, Palin would be handed the proverbial football.

That is the point, very specifically. Do we want Sarah Palin taking the 2:00 AM phone call with her hand on the switch? Not me. I really don't, and for good reason, which I'll come to shortly.

Please let’s just put aside the fact that she is a flippant, smartass, nitwit that reminds me of the lady who insists on checking my ID at the Quickee Mart (OK, I made that up). Really, she just reminds me of the lady that ran the school office in Junior High. Let’s put that aside—anyway, that woman got her payback when coach ran off with the librarian.

And let’s put aside the fact that she kited her expense reports. Hell, who hasn’t done that, at least to the extent of rounding up? Or maybe taken a pencil home, or some printing paper for a “work project”? And we can overlook her using the power of her office to sack some slob that wouldn’t get with the program in getting rid of her churlish brother-in-law. I mean after all, what good is power if you don’t flex out and use it from time-to-time?

And, really, we need to overlook her hard-shell, holy-roller approach to religion. Isn’t the ocean deep, and aren’t there many tributaries leading to it? If she thinks praying will “remove gayness”, that’s fine. It’s just stupidity on her part, and it’s not as though we never had stupidity in high office before. Some would tell you it is a prerequisite.

No, none of that, while sort of eye-raising, scares me about her having her hands on that proverbial football. What does give my heart a bit of a flutter, and causes my sphincter to tighten, are her utterances to the effect that the invasion and interminable occupation of Iraq is God’s work. And, even here, I’m putting aside the Christian view of what constitutes a “just war”. Again, ignorance accounts for her not knowing that. But, the notion, that any sane person would think that what has happened in Iraq is part of a “mission from God” really should be sufficient to give one considerable pause.

And, I'm not real confident we should put aside a consideration of how these words will affect our moderate Arab allies in the region who are already struggling to keep a lid on populations gathering in the streets shouting about our continued presence in the region.

Those issues can’t be put aside. That is a pretty significant signal that it just might not be the world’s best interest to hand-off the proverbial football to such a lunatic. And face it, that would be more likely to happen than not, if McCain were to be elected. I just don’t care to take the risk, the actuarial odds aren’t good on that one.

And having gotten this far, I'm really not expecting to cash in anytime soon. I just need to some time, in the next 5-years or so, to take off my pack, unsling my rifle and sit and blow a bit. So, I don't want some smartass, flippant, nitwit, expense-account abusing, power-mad idiot that reminds of my Junior High School office lady getting my butt blown up before that happens.

08 September 2008

06 September 2008

The Experience Lie!

The big lie tactic worked well for Adolph Hitler and politicians have used variations of it since.

Here's how it working now, in the media and the internet. The right-wing repeats over and over that John McCain has experience, and Barack Obama doesn't, until it becomes a given. People accept it as truth without question.

Now, by extension, the right-wing noise-machine and its coven of screeching monkeys are also extolling the experience of Wasilla Alaska's most infamous holy-roller over that of Barack Obama. Oh really, now!

We can dispatch that rather quickly, and my caution to you is this. When you hear them cite Obama's lack of experience, be equipped to confront the lie with the facts--they just hate that!

Below, for easy printing and memorization or reprint in letters to the editor, a cheat sheet of chronology of Palin's and Obama's experience.

McCain? Hell that one is simple. His accomplishment is longevity, not achievement. Deadwood, so to speak.

Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988.

In 1989 Obama was selected as an Editor of the Harvard Law Review based on his grades and a writing competition.

In 1990 Obama was elected President of the Law Review, editor-in-chief and supervising the law review's staff of 80 editors.

Obama graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991.

A summer Associate at the Chicago law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990.

In 1991 was Awarded Fellowship at the University of Chicago Law School.

Published autobiography - Dreams from My Father in mid-1995.

From April to October 1992 Obama directed Illinois Project Vote, a voter registration drive with a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers that achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state.

Crain's Chicago Business names Obama to its 1993 list of "40 under Forty" powers to be.

Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, as a Lecturer for four years (1992–1996), and as a Senior Lecturer for eight years (1996–2004).

In 1993 Obama joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development. An Associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then Counsel from 1996 to 2004.

Obama was a Founding Member of the Board of Directors of Public Allies in 1992, non-profit organization dedicated to youth leadership development.

Obama served on the Board of Directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a philanthropic organization devoted to poverty relief and the promotion of social mobility, founded in 1941 which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund Obama's DCP, from 1993–2002.

Obama served on the Board of Directors of The Joyce Foundation from 1994–2002, a charitable foundation based in Chicago with Assets of $986,172,775.00.

Obama served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995–2002, as founding President and Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1995–1999. A public-private partnership founded in 1995 with a focus to improve school performance.

Obama served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center.

Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996.

Obama reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998, and again in 2002.

Unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000.

Obama announced his Campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003.

In January 2003, Obama became Chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee.

In the November 2004 general election, Obama received 70% of the vote, the largest victory margin for a statewide race in Illinois history.

Obama was sworn in as US senator from Illinois on January 4, 2005.

Obama held Assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs through December 2006.

In January 2007, Obama took additional Assignments with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Obama became Chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on European Affairs.

2008 - Obama is currently the Junior United States Senator from Illinois.


College #1 - Hawaii Pacific University a freshman during the fall of 1982.

College #2 - North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d'Alene - A general studies major for two semesters, in spring 1983 and fall 1983.

College #3 - The University of Idaho from fall 1984 to spring 1985. ; majored in journalism with an emphasis in broadcast news.

In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla Pageant, then finished Second in the Miss Alaska pageant.

College #4 – Attended Matanuska-Susitna College in Palmer, Alaska in fall 1985.

College #5 – University of Idaho; Spring 1986, Fall 1986 and Spring 1987.

In 1987 Sarah Graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications-journalism

In 1988, Sarah was a Sports Reporter for KTUU-TV in Anchorage, Alaska.

Palin served Two terms on the Wasilla, Alaska, city council from 1992 to 1996.

Palin served Two terms as Mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002.

Unsuccessful campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Alaska in 2002.

Palin Appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Chaired the Commission from 2003 to 2004.

November 2006, Palin was elected the Governor of Alaska.

04 September 2008

Osama Bin Laden - John McCain & Chicken Entrails

Reading the Chicken Entrails.

Obama has moved into a slight lead in Ohio.
Obama (D) 47 McCain (R) 45

Republicans went to Minnesota with high hopes of taking it into play. This is not a state that McCain wants to give up. Oooops!
Obama (D) 53 McCain (R) 41

And into the “Heartland”, Iowa
Obama (D) 55 McCain (R) 40

And, McCain still holds a 3-point lead in North Carolina, which keeps it in play. Obama holds a big lead in the first District of NM signaling that he will take that state.

Moving on. Remember the Taliban, those wonderful and wacky, funnily-dressed natives in Afghanistan, who provided aid, comfort, dancing girls, hookahs and cold drinks to Al Qaeda kingpin, Bin Laden, and his dour band of plotters prior to the September 11 attacks on America?

Sure, those guys. Yeah, yeah, I know, but Iraq, was really, really, really important for some reason, so we let them rebuild their power base, and replant their opium poppy fields to finance their nefarious rituals targeting just about everyone, including each other.

So we sort of let that pesky old cut-up Bin Laden off the hook, so to speak.

Well, John McCain has announced that he knows how to get Osama Bin Laden. “President Clinton had opportunities to get Osama bin Laden. President Bush had opportunities to get Osama bin Laden. I know how to do it and I'll do it," he told ABC's "World News" in an interview.

Great news there, John old chap. Since we’ve got good, solid, brave, young Americans dying over there, maybe you’d be generous enough to let the military in on it, so they could just go ahead and do it, and maybe help spare a few lives, or, heaven forefend, another attack here in the states. Do it now instead of posturing during a campaign—there’s no anchor on your butt holding you back!

What a load of cheap, self-serving BS.

We deserve better than this. I grant you we’ve been asleep at the wheel, and often vote for the wrong person, at the wrong time, for all the wrong reasons, but despite that, we really do deserve better than this. Don’t we?

03 September 2008

Obama - McCain & Seniors!

The Alliance for Retired Americans filed this members report following the DNC, last Friday.

At a gathering that stressed unity, highly energized and impassioned delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver officially named Sen. Barack Obama their nominee for President of the United States. Ninety of the delegates in attendance were Alliance members.

In his acceptance speech, Sen. Obama slammed Sen. John McCain, saying his rival "doesn't get" the economic struggles and hardships faced by Americans. "How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?" Sen. Obama asked.

"Retirees are enormously pleased that Sen. Obama has chosen Sen.Joe Biden of Delaware as a running mate," added Alliance President George J. Kourpias. "Sen. Biden's lifetime 95% voting record on behalf of seniors is a wonderful complement to Sen.Obama's own 100% voting record." Mr. Kourpias addressed the Seniors Council at the convention on Wednesday, stressing the importance of retiree issues such as Social Security, Medicare, and prescription drugs during the election year.

"A retiree voting for John McCain is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders," Alliance Executive Vice President and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka told the meeting attendees. Also on Wednesday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi spoke at the Maryland delegation breakfast, advising delegates who hear of seniors who are undecided to tell them about Sen. McCain's voting record on Social Security and Medicare. While the delegates were meeting in Denver, Colorado Alliance leaders discussed their exciting plans to grow the Colorado Alliance at a Colorado Alliance Executive Board meeting with Mr. Kourpias and national Alliance Executive Director Edward F. Coyle.

And here is one of the ads that was awaiting McCain in Pennsylvania: Keep your mitts off my money!

You just do not want an angry senior on your case!

02 September 2008

Sarah Palin: Unfit mother and an unmitigated jerk!

OK, I’m going to clear something away right up front. I’m fixing to jump on Sarah Palin with both boots on. If you can’t handle that, don’t read this. OK?

First, let’s get the teenage pregnancy thing out of the way. There are few families in America that can’t lay claim to a bit of dysfunction from time-to-time. That’s not the problem. Ill-prepared, in-love, teenaged girls without the knowledge of and/or access to contraception is a cliché. In the best of families, etc, and, none of us have any right at all to second guess such a situation as to what was said, or not said to this kid. It happens, regardless! So, before anyone gets on their self-righteous, high-horse about that issue, just standby a minute will you?

But, there is a problem. It is cynical, disingenuous, and hypocritical for the McCain/Palin team to take the position that somehow or another, this is not an issue for discussion. Here’s why.

McCain and this child-having-a-child’s mother knew from the outset that the girl was pregnant. They knew that a 17-year old sporting a “baby-bump” would draw attention, but they went ahead and put the child out on the national platform with her family as part of a pretty picture of the “perfect” conservative Christian family. They had to know that this 17-year-old girl’s privacy, and, most precious and intimate secrets, would be become the stuff of international news and gossip—and they went ahead, black-hearted hypocrites that they are, and exposed this child to this. What could the mother have been thinking? Well, I suspect we know the answer to that one, don't we.

I don’t know about you, but, I would not have done that to one of my children, for any office.

Sarah Palin is not naive, very stupid sure, but not naive. She knew to what she was exposing her daughter, and I think that is reprehensible and disgusting. The kid deserved a whole lot better.

But having done the unthinkable, Palin is now posturing as the perfect supportive mom, “We’ll see her through this”. Well no kidding mom, isn’t that what moms are supposed to do, stand by their kids in times of difficulty? No props there kiddo, you’re just doing your job. So shut up already. You’re not at all remarkable. You are a genius at picking low-hanging fruit and then claiming to be a great harvester.

I guess even that doesn’t disqualify Palin from consideration as vice-president. Being a lousy mom, phony, and an unmitigated idiot doesn’t rise to that level. We’ve had our fair share of phonies, lousy parents, and idiots in the office in the past, she would be no exception.

But, here’s a laundry list of reasons why she is not worthy of the position:

She announced to her Pentecostal congregation that “our leaders are doing God’s work” by invading and occupying Iraq...or as she says it, “Eye-Rack”. I’m certain our Muslim allies in the region would be enthralled with that worldview.

Turns out that "troopergate" isn't the first time she has fired subordinates for not following through on illegal orders. When she was mayor of the tiny hamlet of Wasilla, she fired the police chief and Library Director for not supporting her in the 1996 election, and nearly faced recall in 1997 over the scandal. A court later ruled that the firing of the police chief was legal, not because the reasons were ethical, but because in Alaska a mayor does not need a reason to fire a police chief.

She lied about rejecting funding for the "bridge to nowhere" during her introduction in Dayton, in fact she lobbied extensively in favor of it and was bitterly opposed to the ending of the project.

And although she describes her husband as a "commercial fisherman", his actual employment is as a supervisor for oil giant BP. Todd Palin took a leave from that job in 2007 while Gov. Palin was negotiating a gas pipeline project involving BP, but returned 7 months later. He did not take any leave while his wife was a member of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

As first gentleman of Alaska Todd Palin often sits in on cabinet meetings involving the oil industry.Meanwhile the Palin administration is claiming executive privilege to prevent emails sent to Todd Palin from being released that are related to the Gas Pipeline project.And then there is yet another public employee who was fired without official reason, but who had gotten on the bad side of Todd Palin for dating the soon to be ex-wife of a buddy of the first gentleman.

Oh ... and she doesn't know much about history:

Question: Are you offended by the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
Palin: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

Hint, that phrase wasn't added to the pledge until sometime in the mid to late fifties! And sine the "founders" didn't include the "pledge" in the constitution, I think it's clear they no desire for such!

Maybe she learned her history from "creation history" experts.

And then there’s the $27-million in federal “earmark” projects money she glommed on to for her 6,000 population Alaskan village while mayor. Some reformer, huh?

Every day two new Palin scandals surface. I don't think it is possible there was any real vetting process in the McCain VP selection. Or maybe, it’s as I said earlier, John Kerry helped out his old buddy McCain and did the vetting for him. rotflmao

01 September 2008

Labor Day - Bad news for Labor!

This Labor Day does not commemorate gains or, for that matter, good news for those of us who labor. Over the last year, unemployment and those discouraged from seeking work, or those in jobs carrying the label of underemployed, has increased by 25%, according to a new study by the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

Workers are in worse shape than they have been for years. The creator of the report, Professor Douglas Kruse, a labor economist, says the sharp decline in Americans able to find full-time jobs along with growing consumer debt and health care costs are cause for tremendous concern.

The report projects that more than 10% of Americans are out of work, underemployed (flipping burgers or greeting at Wally-World), or despairing of being able to find any work at all. Couple this with another wire report, this weekend news cycle, projecting a 10% increase in health care costs next year and one sees that Professor Kruse’s concern is well placed.

The report also lists some other dismal findings:

  • 530,000 were subject to mass layoffs last year, reflecting a growth of nearly 5%
  • The median average weekly earnings for American workers has not grown in real terms over the last eight years.
  • The federal minimum wage, at $6.55, is worth 40-cents less per hour, in inflation-adjusted dollars than it was a decade ago.
  • Only 25% of the workforce has access to employer-assisted wellness and child-care programs.
  • Nearly 4% of the workforce working part-time do so only because there are no full-time jobs to be found.

In 1893, more than a century ago, Samuel Gompers, replied this way when asked, “What does labor want?”

“We want more school houses and less jails: more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more constant work and less crime; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful and childhood more happy and bright”

Now, 115-years later, we still yearn for the same things. But, despite our yearnings for justice, fair wages, transparent elections, and freedom from want, disease, poverty and crime we find ourselves in engaged daily struggles to survive the effects of rapacious oil companies, greedy HMOs and giant insurance companies, declining real-wages, unemployment, unsafe food-stuffs, deadly toys and pet foods, foreclosures, inflation, loss of basic personal freedom and privacy, and we weep as the lives of some of our very best men and women are taken away from us in the occupation of Iraq.

We’ve watched as our politicized public schools deteriorate into police-patrolled, drug and violence infested microcosms of our neighborhoods, and as the international corporations wage war on unions, safety regulations and worker’s rights. We’ve watched for thirty years as the Republican neo-conservative policy makers and neo-liberal economists have attempted to deconstruct the New Deal and take down the safety nets protecting from poverty the poorest and most vulnerable among us; the elderly, the poor, the disabled, the blind, the widows, and the orphans.

Now, we are bearing witness to the effects of the cabal of reactionary right-wing politicians, whacked-out religious fundamentalists masquerading as Christians, and opportunistic mendicants, sociopaths, and white-collar felons attempt to destroy what little is left of the America we respect and love after having stolen two national elections. Their efforts are not pro-American. They are not patriotic. They are anti-American and unpatriotic. They are degenerate and obscenely criminal.

Those things which Gompers cited are not extraordinary. They are not unobtainable. They are not pie-in-the-sky. They are not Utopian dreaming. They are the essential human rights and basic aspirations of all persons. Those who would deny them to us are the enemy. They are the descendants of the industrialists, the scabs, and the gun-thugs of Gompers' time. As much as time goes by and brings about change, some things change not at all.

We must do as was done then, Educate, Organize and Mobilize in order to fight for, and achieve, and hold on to, those basic human rights which Samuel Gompers so eloquently iterated over 100-years ago.

I leave you with this thought: We all warm our hands at fires which were built by those who came before us, and we all drank from wells that were dug by others. We all, each of us, you and I, have a moral obligation to keep those fires burning brightly and those wells flowing!