Saturday, August 30, 2008

Don't Buy The Pooched Rat.

In the last 24 hours, I've seen the criticism of Gov. Sarah Palin turn from legitimate commentary into outright slander and misogyny.

What if the McCain operation wants to stoke the negatively misogynistic themes we're seeing this weekend?

I admit it's attractive, it tastes real good because of all the fuckings we've gotten in the last 8 years, and it's really satisfying - but it's absolutely horrible for the health of our movement.

If I was Republican dirty tricks operative, I'd be grinning and rubbing the slime between my palms right now.

Political dirty tricks are nasty, but some of the worst are the ones buried by your own side in order to make the finders look like complete assholes.

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Boxer on Palin

California's Democratic Senator, Barbara Boxer, cuts to the quick on Sarah Palin. (my highlights)
The Vice President is a heartbeat away from becoming President, so to choose someone with not one hour’s worth of experience on national issues is a dangerous choice.

If John McCain thought that choosing Sarah Palin would attract Hillary Clinton voters, he is badly mistaken. The only similarity between her and Hillary Clinton is that they are both women. On the issues, they could not be further apart.

Senator McCain had so many other options if he wanted to put a women on his ticket, such as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison or Senator Olympia Snowe – they would have been an appropriate choice compared to this dangerous choice. In addition, Sarah Palin is under investigation by the Alaska state legislature which makes this more incomprehensible. - Barbara Boxer
Thank you Barbara for all you do!

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Friday, August 29, 2008

She's the Wall Street Choice.

Wow. So McCain picked Palin. And her nomination is doing exactly what McCain's campaign calculated she would do: suck every last bit of oxygen out of the media concerning this week's Democratic convention & it's historic nomination and speech in Denver.

What is very apparent however is that Palin's credentials seriously cast doubt on her experience and ability. Her story is very shallow. And she's just been named the President-in-waiting, both in terms of McCain's health and that the VP automatically becomes the lead contender for the office when McCain would step down after 2 terms.

Gov. Sarah Palin was chosen for very shallow and short-term reasons in the Presidential campaign - she was chosen by an executive who places more concern in short-term gains over long-term stability and growth, both in his campaign an in the operation of his country and his party.

That should be the meme. She's the Wall Street choice not because of her oil industry ties, but because she was the obvious short-term choice whom would bury the emerging Democratic lead. Short-term profit over long-term growth.

There are some real challenges here, however. One, Americans love attractive, personable . . celebrities. We may not like her politics, but how many people are going to see only her attractive face when they evaluate her? Two, Steve is absolutely correct that the Democratic campaign will have to be incredibly cautious in attacking and engaging in debate with Palin - Sarah Palin is a former journalist, and journalists love to love their people. Add to that her looks, and Biden could easily look like he's stomping on the cute, dumb puppy that likes to chew on the cuffs of your pants. If Dan Quayle could elicit that reaction by America, Sarah Palin could easily do it.

Update: When Chez agrees with me, I know I've hit the right note.
Because don't think for a second that he truly believes Sarah Palin is ready to lead the free world should something render him unable to. No, what John McCain believes is that Sarah Palin can lead enough women to the polls to win him the presidency.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hot Damn

We Democrats sure can throw a helluva party.

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Here it is a holiday, and I have to _work_.

If you haven't guessed yet, I work second shift during the week and one day out of the weekend for my job. So as a result, I've missed all of the live coverage for the convention, and I'll miss tonight's nigh-historic speech and celebration. Considering how flat I've felt the day after, reading the transcripts and coverage, maybe it's best.

While you are all waiting for History, think a bit about what Digby has said about the protests at the convention. The anti-choicers that she has noted seem to be working very hard not only in Denver, but in other cities and states. I notice 2 more "babies are people!" billboards every time I drive to the city - and they're no longer just in the economically at-risk parts, but all over town. And my college town has been the target of several campus anti-choice pamphleteers and activists since school started. At one point this summer, 2 protesters appeared with anti-choice placards 100 feet away at the same time as the handful of anti-war protesters whom always stand on the old state highway every Wednesday night. This is all anecdotal observation, but have you seen similar in your neighborhoods and streets?

This is obvious election-year politicking, especially since the party that is linked with anti-choice is in such deep trouble. Abortion is one of the only things still available to the GOP to motivate their base to come out, and it's a wedge between Democrats and people whom are otherwise more progressively-minded. And its probably only going to get worse as this fall moves on.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Best Speech of The Day

Billmon Returns!

Go read it.

Usually wandering into the DKos comments is worse than the TLC's comments, but billmon later says this:
My optimism is so cautious, it's basically in a coma. But it's not quite dead yet.


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Major Lost Opportunity


Just Wow

Holy Fuck, Wow

I had heard that the media needed to “get over it.” Who is it that will not let it die?

Hillary did a phenomenal job last night. It was, by far, the most brilliant speech that I have ever seen her give. She was awesome. I cried and when it was over, I felt unified.

There was the opportunity today to take her lead and the energy that she offered us - all of us Democrats - to move forward and to win this election. She gave us all a mandate to "keep going" and to not look back. She told us what was important and she reiterated that this is not about the primaries, not about her and not about Obama.

And it is certainly not about people's ego based necessity to be right and to spew "I told you so"s all over the Nets.

This is politics goddammit...there will be disappointment and hurt feelings and anger, but all of those feelings do not outweigh the feelings that come as a result of the policies enacted by the politicians once we get them into office.

My principles and my hurt feelings and all of that crap will not help me when the banks fold and the mortgage forecloses and gas is $10.00 a gallon. A McCain presidency will ensure all of that horrible crap and worse. I am worried about those feelings...the ones that I would have to experience under a McCain presidency.

Whatever happened in the primaries, whatever injustices occurred, or personality crap that people want to continue to replay will not save my kid from the draft that McCain will have to enact for his "more wars." My fight is to make sure that I never feel that; not re-hashing anything experienced over these last many months.

Hillary was awesome last night. Lovely. It is a new chapter in this process; we are now in the General Election. It is time to turn the page, take every opportunity afforded us and recognize the chance that we have right now to stop the insanity of the Republicans. No matter what we wanted or who we wanted for our Nominee, Obama is what we've got.

It's General Election time now. I really don’t care who was “right” last week, last month, last year or yesterday. I care about what is right now, and what is right now is to elect a Democrat as President, a Democratic majority in the Congress and a Democratic majority in the State Legislatures. The census and redistricting are coming and we have an opportunity for Democratic majorities for a long time to come.

There is a whole lot of shit to fix in this country. We don’t have time to replay this crap. We have huge opportunities to really get some fantastic Progressive legislation enacted. John McCain is the antithesis of everything that I believe in; to allow some old resentment, that Hillary herself seems to have gotten over, to get in the way of saving our Country is short sighted and selfish.

Let’s not waste anymore opportunities.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Wake Up, America!"

It’s Election Day, 2008.
We Democrats are giving America a wake up call.

Wake up America.

In 2001, the oil companies, the war contractors and the neo-con artists seized the economy, and have added four trillion dollars of unproductive spending to the national debt. We now pay four times more for defense, three times more for gasoline and home heating oil, and twice what we paid for health care.

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, their homes, their health care, their pensions. Trillions of dollars for an unnecessary war paid with borrowed money. Tens of billions of dollars in cash and weapons disappeared into thin air, at the cost of the lives of our troops and innocent Iraqis, while all the President’s oilmen are maneuvering to grab Iraq’s oil.

Borrowed money to bomb bridges in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. No money to rebuild bridges in America.

Money to start a hot war with Iran. Now we have another cold war with Russia while the American economy has become a game of Russian roulette.

If there was an Olympics for misleading, mismanaging and misappropriating this Administration would take the gold. World records for violations of national and international laws. They want another four year term to continue to alienate our allies, spend our children’s inheritance and hollow out our economy. We can’t afford it America.

Wake up America, the insurance companies took over health care.

Wake up America, the pharmaceutical companies took over drug pricing.

Wake up America, the speculators took over Wall Street.

Wake up America, they want to take your Social Security.

Wake up America, multinational corporations took over our trade policies, factories are closing, good paying jobs lost.

Wake up, America. We went into Iraq for oil.
The oil companies want more. War against Iran will mean $10 a gallon gasoline.
The Oil Administration wants to drill more --into your wallet.

Wake up, America. Weapons contractors want more. An Iran war will cost five to ten trillion dollars. This Administration can tap our phones. They can’t tap our creative spirit.
They can open our mail. They can’t open economic opportunities.
They can track our every move. They lost track of the economy while the cost of food, gasoline, and electricity skyrockets.
They skillfully played our post-911 fears and allowed the few to profit at the expense of the many.
Everyday we get the color orange, while the oil companies, the insurance companies, the speculators, the war contractors get the color green.

Wake up America.

This is not a call for you to take a new direction from right to left. This is call for you to go from down to up.

Up with the rights of workers.
Up with wages.
Up with fair trade.
Up with creating millions of good paying jobs rebuilding our bridges, ports and water systems.
Up with creating millions of sustainable energy jobs to lower the cost of energy, lower carbon emissions and protect the environment.
Up with health care for all. Up with education for all.
Up with home ownership. Up with guaranteed retirement benefits.
Up with Peace.
Up with Prosperity.
Up with the Democratic Party
Up with Obama -Biden

Wake up, America!

Wake up, America!

- Dennis Kucinich

UPDATE: Obama edited Kucinich's speech last night... Come on Obama, that would have been the best line of the night!
"They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20."

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I Don't Like Fudge, either*

So I spent the entire morning I have off watching the material from last night's convention. I found it was like having to wander the desserts at a church picnic made by people whom have absolutely little in common with my taste buds, but you have to sample it all to be polite.

Convention speeches never really do much for me unless I find them challenging in some respect. I usually find the GOP Convention more involving because I'm constantly cussing and throwing a shoe at the TV. Since I'll probably be watching it over the internet this time around, I had better find another aggression outlet - the LCD monitor isn't as hardy as the CRT.

As a result, most of the Democrat's first night only slightly engaged me. Even though I didn't grow up an East-Coast Democrat or even a Democrat, Ted Kennedy's tribute and speech was quite well done and well produced. Better yet - it was just about the right length. I hope he does well in the coming year because I think we're going to need him.

On the other hand, the content of Michelle Obama's speech was nothing more than over-sweetened fluff for me. I seriously had to turn it off after 5 minutes. As someone recently noted though, my tastes don't rule what 300 million Americans want. I may hate over-sugared, undercooked desserts, but that's my problem.

So the part I really paid attention was to Jim Leach's speech. Leach is not the world's greatest speaker - but I've known that ever since he was elected to office in Iowa. What he does symbolize is the great wide pragmatist middle-class that fills at least Iowa as well as arguably the Midwest. He's my parent's Republican. The Obama campaign definitely (and probably correctly) believes that this election is going to make Obama Republicans like 1980 made Reagan Democrats.

Just don't feed all of us crap after the votes have been counted.

* Seriously, I don't like fudge. I'm a slut for all other forms of good chocolate though.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Only the Guardian

I sometimes think the UK Guardian is the only paper media outlet that gets the Internets.

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It's Classic Coke in New Coke's Can

Here are some thoughts:
  • Obama/Biden, unless something dramatically happens in their term, will be a return to the status quo. Excepting some high profile policy changes - new executive orders on abortion and contraception for federal program recipients, maybe getting the hell out of Iraq, more emphasis on middle-class well-being - nothing will radically change. From Hunter Thompson:
    I had been without sleep for two or three days at the time, and my temper was close to the surface. Beyond that, I had spent the past five or six days brooding angrily over the list of vice-presidential possibilities that McGovern had floated in the New York Times several days before the convention even started. I recall telling Mankiewicz in the coffee shop on Friday night that I had never seen so many bums and hacks listed in a single paragraph in any publication for any reason. . . .

    But Frank assured me that my wrath was premature. "Don't worry," he said. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised." . . .

    So there was nothing personal in my loud objections to Eagleton a week later. It struck me as a cheap and unnecessary concession to the pieced-off ward-heeler syndrome that McGovern had been fighting all along.

    Tom Eagleton was exactly the kind of VP candidate that Muskie or Humphrey would have chosen: a harmless, Catholic, neo-liberal Rotarian nebbish from one of the border states who presumably wouldn't make any waves.

    The only difference is that we're sure Biden isn't hiding electroshock treatments in his closet.

  • The status quo will be something that looks remarkably similar to the Clinton/Gore years with some remnants of Bush/Cheney - the security state will stay in place, and we will still have rendition and Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo (until the other prisons in Saudi Arabia are built). Blowjobs and interns better damn well not return to the national consciousness.
  • The unitary executive theory will remain in place and Congress will continue to rubber stamp it's approval. (h/t to the Home Base)We have seen it in full flower during Bush, but it was developed under Reagan & Bush and continued under Clinton. It may be slightly curtailed, again as part of the high visibility 'change of the administration', but the substantive functions of the modern security state will remain in place.
Ever since it became clear that Obama would be the likely nominee, the political establishment has been demanding of him more and more proof that his "change" rhetoric is just that -- rhetoric, and not anything meant as a genuine threat to the prevailing order of things. Obama, arguably out of political necessity, has repeatedly obliged, eagerly trying to offer proof that he is no threat to them, and the Biden selection is but the latest step in that campaign of reassurance. In sum, Biden is a reliable supporter of virtually every prevailing bit of conventional wisdom within the American elite political consensus, which is why his selection has been widely praised by the establishment, whose principal concern is that their fiefdom not be disrupted and that their consensus not be challenged.

  • The liberal and progressive blogs for the next 3 months are going to be battlegrounds against not only the Republican slime running for office and their enabling minions, but also against the bloggers who continue to push for better than what the establishment wants to give us.
  • And Democrats will do nothing but fight between the liberal and moderate factions, insuring a 2010 election fight where Republicans will have the advantage.

If I strike some as overly pessimistic, it's because I don't want my idealism tempering to bland idiocy my support for the Democrats - something with which I fear in all of us during the general election.

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