Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Debate Hangover

I must admit that I am more concerned with Opus's impending doom than the outcome of any phony debates. The non-debate format and Jim Lehrer's lackluster moderator-ship gall me no end. The debates that were held under the auspices of the League of Women voters were much better than these farces staged by the Democrats and Republicans. Watching the pundits debate the debate after the debate was more illuminating than the actual debate! The talking heads whined and postured at least as much as John McCain did. Pat Buchanan was very entertaining and Chris Matthews was firing saliva all over the set! History tells us that in the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debate, Nixon won on substance but Kennedy looked more presidential (what with Nixon's sweat, beard and used-car-salesman persona). McCain solidified his McNasty persona by being grouchy, rude, and condescending and refusing to look at Obama but once after the handshake. Obama appeared calmer and cooler. Sometimes, ala 1960, substance does not indicate the winner. Sometimes perception rules.

I must say that McCain surprised me with his overall performance, presenting himself better than I had expected. Obama appeared to let McCain off the hook several times by not hammering him on his numerous lies and stupid comments. In fact, a review of the fact checking sites and CNN's post debate analysis revels that McCain misspoke and distorted data far more than Obama did.

I so wish that Obama had pressured McCain into explaining how "Bomb Bomb Iran" shows leadership, diplomacy and good judgment. One last thing: what was McCain up to by his news bulletin on Ted Kennedy being in the hospital? By debate time, it had been determined that Kennedy had a minor reaction to a change in medication and had gone home.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shock Doctrine???

Several House and Senate Republicans apparently are of the opinion that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's proposal to bail the country out of its current financial crisis is not draconian enough. These Republicans want LESS regulation, believing (incredibly) that market forces will do the right thing! Time and time again, market forces have failed to do the right thing, resulting in successive financial calamities. Methinks that these GOP hardliners are actually disciples of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics. These yahoos want to see the whole system collapse so that they can institute an Ayn Rand-style unregulated economy upon the landscape. A lack of regulations lead to a series of recessions culminating in the Great Depression. De-regulation of the Depression-era reforms has lead to the current fiscal crisis. Ayn Rand was wrong and her Libertarian followers are wrong also. More regulation is needed.

As the World Turns (Or, As My Head Spins)

As Prime Minister Putin of Russia invades Alaska's air space (or is it the space between Sarah Palin's ears?), John McCain is flying around the country (Country First, after all) aiding the airline industry's bottom line and single-handedly pulling the economy out of recession. No wait, he's trying to solve the current banking crisis (even though he's not on the Senate committee working on Czar Hank Paulson's takeover of the economy). Or is he just trying to avoid debating Barack Obama and emulating Sarah Palin's verbal ineptitude? By all accounts, McCain brought nothing of substance to the financial crisis discussion and was nearly incoherent in what he did say. He should have stayed in New York and appeared on Late Night With David Letterman.

If it weren't for the inherent racism of "we the people", Obama would be mega-points ahead in the polls. I am deliberately playing the race card here. So many white folks (I am one in case you consider it relevant) just cannot shake the fear that minorities are out to destroy polite society (is this what Fox Business News anchor Neil Cavuto really meant?). Remember that Thomas Jefferson - the god-king of the anti-government crowd - wrote that "...all men are created equal." Does this mean that those who hang on Jefferson's every word as slavishly as they hang on biblical verses believe that all non-whites are not human?

Sarah Palin's favorite (apparently) preacher chases witches out of whatever town he is in. Why hasn't Fox News made an issue of this? Is she really more of a disaster than Dan Quayle and W? Combined?


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gordon Smith must go!

On Saturday September 6, 2008 there was a small item published in the Corvallis (OR) Gazette-Times (G-T) titled Smith: Palin has 'right stuff' for job. If Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) really believes this, he is not fit for re-election to the United States Senate. In fact, that he said it should seal his fate. I strongly urge my fellow citizens of Oregon to send Smith back to work in his family food processing business. Jeff Merkley deserves our support.

Of further interest is the burying of this damnable statement by Smith deep into the newspaper by the G-T. Does this rag have a pro-Smith agenda?

Sarah Palin for VP??

I have held off long enough on this matter so as to allow my initial ire to cool. Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) was nominated by the GOP for one reason only: to appeal to the Christian-right, anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-second amendment, anti-tax, anti-education, pro-Iraq War, be afraid of foreigners, Republican base. If she dragged in some disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters from the Democrats, that would be a bonus.

Several women that I recently spoke with were intrigued with Palin, because she is a woman, a mother (as were they), outspoken, affable, and a wisecracker. All good things to them (and me, incidentally). That the GOP nominated her is admirable, but incredibly cynical. These women will not vote for her. Let's look at the facts.

As mayor of Wisilla, AK, Palin was a strong advocate of accumulating as much "pork" for her city as could be had, hiring a PR firm to work for the city. On the surface, that is not a bad thing, but it is hardly the record of a government reformer who is against earmarks now that she is a VP candidate. Indeed, she was a strong advocate for the infamous Gravina "Bridge to Nowhere" when the bridge was an earmarked project for Alaska. The earmark was dropped from the federal budget, but the money remained. Palin's administration spent most of the money on other projects before she "killed" the already terminally ill project. Of course, the $500 million bridge had only a reported $50 million left on the table. Nice flip-flopping, exaggerating, and, yes, lying!

Palin's speech at the GOP convention contained an anti-tax message, but she advocated a raise in sales tax for a sports complex while a public servant in Wasilla. Then there is the issue of the local librarian whom she (Palin) asked if she (the librarian) would ban books if Palin asked her to. No way, said the librarian. No job said then Mayor Palin. She is anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-sex education in schools (ditto), pro-creationism. While she brags about fighting against Big Oil to get more money for Alaska citizens, she advocates drilling anywhere and everywhere. (Her husband works for BP Oil; more work for him in the future if ANWR is opened?)

How about the public works director who would not fire Palin’s ex-brother-in-law (despite intense lobbying for his firing by Palin’s staff and family)? He was canned.

She also takes credit for a new pipeline that is to be built in Alaska. Okay, but the pipeline is a project developed by a previous administration and will not be started until 2018. But she did sign the paperwork!

I have no problem with her support of the second amendment, the so-called Right to Bear Arms. That she thinks that it is okay to hunt wolves from helicopters does seem strange to me. (If she gets to be the actual VP, I’ll want to have access to guns to protect myself when she comes looking for pointy-headed liberals such as me!) Based upon her record as a city councilor, mayor and governor, however, she does not seem to have much use for the rest of the Constitution or that it should apply to all citizens.

Somehow, I do not think that Senator Clinton’s supporters will vote for McCain because of Sarah Palin. Palin is a hypocrite, an extreme social conservative, who is an anti-gay, anti-choice, pro capital punishment, anti-education opportunist who will advocate whatever position will get her elected!