Thursday, October 30, 2008


McCain Campaign Confers Degree on (Doctor) Joe

It was only a matter of time before the Straight Talk Express would pull off the campaign trail and into the parking lot of a diploma mill, the better to give Sam-Joe-the-Plumber the certification that he's never had.

Apparently Joe has been traveling the highways of America in McCain's wienermobile, thrilling campaign aides and perhaps the candidates themselves with his down-home Ohio wisdom.

"Ah, here comes Joe the plumber from the Straight Talk Express now," gushed Nicole Wallace, one of Sarah Palin's shoppers-in-chief as Linda Wertheimer of NPR tried to pin her down on whether or not McCain really thought Obama was a socialist. "We've been amazed with his ideas..." she said before Wertheimer cut her off.

Poor Linda W. She was just trying to get the McCain campaign to admit that Obama was not going to run around rummaging through everyone's bank accounts (or mattresses, or change jars) hunting up cash to "redistribute" to the less fortunate, or as McCain and company like to imply, lazy black n' white people. She played a clip in which McCain acknowledged Obama's capitalist credentials, only to have Nicole continue to assert Obama's "known history" of wanting to "redistribute" wealth.
McCain himself seems buoyed by the possibility that a barrage of last-minute lies will do for him what he has been unable to do for himself: convince the electorate of his worthiness for the office. He has taken yet another page from the Bush-Cheney playbook: if you say a thing often enough you can force it to be perceived as true.
When I read the letter of an as yet undecided voter, asking those excellent ladies Margaret and Helen how to make up her mind, I flipped out, knowing that there are lots of citizens out there who haven't done the homework that goes with citizenship and are looking for someone to do the impossible: make up their minds for them.

It isn't as if there is a shortage of such folks, ready to do your thinking for you. It's just that given her lack of interest in what has been a very long campaign, given the many debates and interviews that have led us to this moment, all ignored by such a voter, the crap shoot of that vote just might not be all that enlightened. In the meantime Joe the plumber revels in his 15 minutes, entertaining the job that awaits him in the McCain administration.

No wonder Europeans think we're bonkers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Right to Marry, Right to Love

By visiting some of my favorite blogs today, I've become aware that I have only a couple of minutes to throw in my two cents on the subject of the right to marry, the better to contribute to the momentum on the No On 8 campaign transpiring in my home state of California.

I have been in a great relationship for the past 18 years, and we live in a state which permits civil unions. When the subject of marriage/civil unions was before our legislature, I remember the busloads of churches who convened on the grounds of the state capital to register their protests.

As if this were a matter for majority rule. There are many times in the history of the country where the government had to protect the rights of minorities from what John Stuart Mill referred to as "the tyranny of the majority."

The right to marry is a civil right. In times past mixed race couples have needed protection from the tyranny of the majority.

Now it's time to extend protections to another classification of couples needing such protection. These folks are the target of religious groups who think that civil rights should somehow be tied to their interpretation of what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Actually, civil rights shouldn't be tied to the Bible. Civil rights are to be available to people who follow the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Adventures of Superman and Lois Lane, or the Deep Thoughts of Jack Handey, among many other spiritual options.

Civil rights should exist in the civil domain. What religious groups choose to do about their implementation within their own contexts have to be left to the lights that guide them. If churches don't want to marry gay couples, they shouldn't be forced to. Here is where the separation of church and state works to the advantage of both. If some churches support gay marriage --and some do-- then their right to bring couples together should be unimpeded.

Churches need to have the opportunity to evolve --or not-- on this issue. I have watched various congregations go through some big arguments on whether or not to be welcoming, inclusive groups. But that is their call to make.

In the meantime, gay couples who want the protection of the law for the commitments they are willing to make shouldn't have to wait while ministers and congregants dither. It is interesting that a group so reviled as gays was mentioned only twice in the Bible, once in a strange little incident in the Old Testament, and once, not by Jesus, but by Paul, who wasn't all that excited about heterosexual marriage, either. Better to marry than to burn, indeed!

But civil rights go beyond or around theology. They ensure that smooth functioning of rights that belong to couples in times of crisis--in health, wealth, and peace of mind. They ensure that ghost relatives will not arise during the most difficult times in a couple's life to impose arrangements that degrade the wishes of the people most targeted by their impact. They affirm the adult nature of the relationship.

My spouse and I have not chosen to take advantage of our state's offering of civil unions. But we have protected ourselves with wills and trusts. To us, it's no damned business of the state as to how we feel about each other. But that's our choice. For other couples, our course of action would be insufficient. I respect that.

I always thought that this right was about another 20 years away. I was wrong. Thanks to the hard work of so many activists, the time is now.

When we see marriage as a civil right, rather than a chance to duke it out with recalcitrant churches, the path becomes obvious and clear.

If you are in a position to remedy this injustice, take your place in history.

And remember: any excuse for a party!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Only Connect

There's nothing like a Republican candidate feigning connection with the working class to feed your sense of irony.

McCain's new strategy is to find Joes in all walks of working class life. He can then assure them (after shaking their hands
sans any eye contact) that he will protect them from any form of socialism: medical care, Social Security, unemployment benefits, that sort of thing. There is always the military, he can remind them, and he could use their skills in Iraq.

He can maintain in them the illusion that they're headed for Republican-type annual incomes and therefore underscore the obvious self-interest they have in voting for him.
You're just a lotto ticket away from the Big Time, my friend. You aren't going to be in That tax bracket much longer.

And for the ladies whose hands remain unshaken after the Great Man has passed?

"They need more training."


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Let the Thievery Begin

We need a new Voting Rights Act. Already voters in West Virginia are seeing their votes switched from Obama to McCain on voting machines overseen by Republicans, who, of course, blame the errors on the voters themselves.

Why is a sole political party overseeing the balloting, anyway?
I am told that the Obama campaign is on top of the prospect of election theft. I hope so.They're going to be busy.Once they get the guy in Ohio to take his Obama effigy down, they should hustle right over to West Virginia and stand guard over the voting machines.

It used to be that "undesirable" voters were deterred by tests and poll taxes, unequally distributed. Now you can vote for free, just as long as you don't expect your vote to be counted.

There is still the problem of the very structure that does not equip each precinct with representatives of both parties (or, let's say,
all parties) to ensure that balloting is truly representative and that voters have immediate access to any mechanical "irregularities" occurring with the machines.

Voting regulations vary from state to state, and we're all painfully familiar with the consequences.
There ought to be a print-out of each vote cast. Back-up editions of the ballots should be on file--not based on who voted, but what votes were cast.

The more the Republicans raise the non-issue of ACORN, the more you can be sure that they're up to something. Contact everybody. Email Howard Dean. Nag the ACLU. Put new energy into the phrase Public Outcry.

And play a little Who.



Friday, October 17, 2008


If You Can't Tell the Truth, You Don't Deserve the Job

I just read about the mad rush the McCain campaign is in to tie Obama to Bill Ayers. They're even creating an entire comic book for it.

What cynicism. The only people who will attach to those messages are those who can't really think for themselves.

One of them was telling me about Bill Ayers, terrorista domestica, the other day, and I asked her, "If he's a Known Terrorist, why isn't he in jail? It seems to me that the Bush Administration would have taken him to Guantanamo a long time ago."

Blank look.

No matter. Here come those pamphlets on the big terror connection. Funnybooks that aren't all that funny.

I am amazed at the industry of lies that the Republican Party has concocted in the last 20 years. It's truly impressive in its own way.

The Republican Party doesn't really want its citizens to be educated and well-informed. People like That (One) can't be easily manipulated.

No, the Grand Old Party wants a creamy layer of billionaires who don't want to pay their fair share, who worship free markets as if they were gods, and then it wants the bulk of its support to come from people who are suspicious of knowledge, hostile toward science, and as eager to write checks to Palin as they are to the Rev. Hootchy-Kootchy Jim Bob who will heal the cavities in your teeth at his next Miracle Meeting.

If you can't be the choice of an informed, thoughtful electorate, you shouldn't be in office.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I'm Changing My Vote

You know, I hope that my change of heart and mind won't be construed as a flip/flop.

Of course, I'm not running for office, so I guess I can flip and flop all I darn well please.

Anyway, after viewing this photo (and its mate at Princess Sparkle Pony I have decided to cast my vote for John McCain.

This shot of him registering that he was exiting in the wrong direction after this last debate. Is that an adorable oops or what??

I saw how unfair I'd been when I saw this snap: McCain isn't a doddering old man with nary a fresh idea; he's a twelve year old with his entire future ahead of him.

So don't get mad at me. I just can't resist the little fella.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Anti-Vet Veteran

How odd it is that John McCain, of all people, fails to support programs for veterans time after time.

Follow the link to McCain's voting record on all things veteran and see what I mean.

I have never understood our government's abandonment of the very people it asks for every bit of effort, every sacrifice of comfort, safety, and sanity. Our troops are returning from this lie-based war with traumas physical and mental.

That the government is fickle on the fortunes of its troops is nothing new. The Defense Department denied the damages that Agent Orange visited upon troops in Viet Nam. It shirked responsibility for Gulf War Syndrome in the early nineties.

Now putzes like McCain want to cut back on post-battle care of physical and mental needs of vets. He's backed off on the anti-torture stances he took a couple of years ago, even though his cavalier attitude puts the troops in greater harm's way.

McCain ought to know better. Unfortunately, he is so out of touch with the people he claims to "take care of," so ignorant of the disappointment they feel in his non-support of them, he continues to campaign away as if the presidency were his due from the courage he showed 40 years ago. That courage, while commendable, was no greater than that shown by any other POW in his plight. Perhaps McCain wants the glory for his "heroism" without drawing attention to the price he's really paid, with mental stability a big part of it.

Of course, the past means a lot to McCain. That's because he hasn't a clue about what to do with the future.

He doesn't know economics. He doesn't know technology. He prides himself on foreign policy, even though the direction in which he would take us is no new direction, just a rehash of the disasters our country has cultivated in the past six years. So much for foreign policy. He has no new ideas for energy, no vision for the future.

I actually have a lot of respect for age and experience. In its best form, it can provide perspective that is otherwise hard to come by. It's amazing to me that McCain can manifest so little gravitas.

That characteristic, ironically, belongs to the younger candidate in this election.

Here are the current projections from Check out their site. There are lots of other races projected, too.

Could it be that the American people are about
to do something right?

November can't come soon enough.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Vote Obama; Free Cindy

As someone who spends her life in contemplation of one profundity after another, I have come to apply some Compassion[ate Conservatism] to Cindy Mc Cain.

Yeah, yeah, I know. You don't like her. She's bogus. She even stole her painkillers from the charity she espouses. She shoved her siblings out of the way when her father died, the better to glom onto all 100 million bucks for her very own self. To this day she sees herself as an Only Child. How low can you go?

Let me remind you that this is the wife of John McCain. She married him when she was all of 25. I don't know about you, but I didn't make my best personal decisions at the age of 25. (I didn't even make my best personal decisions at 50).

But I digress.

Cindy has her own cross to bear, here. Even if you long to see her aging Barbie doll head hovering above a ball gown at the Inaugurals, you must vote Obama.

Why? Because if elected, Cindy would have to live at the White House, 24/7 with the nastiest asshole in politics. She'd start popping pills again.

If you care about Cindy's health, Cindy's happiness, Cindy's future, vote Obama and send Cindy home. She and Bridget don't need full time exposure to the old fart that is their husband and father (in Cindy's case, both). They don't need him telling them that they can't have dessert, that they need to get anorexic.

Marriage to McCain is bearable only if you have to see his ugly face on the weekends, and then after a long flight to Arizona.

Otherwise Cindy will be in the fanciest jail in the nation.

Free Cindy. Vote Obama.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Hockey Moms, Winos Unite for Palin-McCain

Whoops--I mean McCain-Palin.

I keep thinking about her exhortation for an America of Joe Six-Packs and Hockey Moms. Have they organized? Formed a coalition?

I see the loudmouth who replaced Sarah at the rink, flanked by her hubby and a couple of winos who have been conscripted to vote the Grand Old Party for a case of Cindy's beer.

Dubya was a sort of sobered up Joe Six-Pack, albeit a dry drunk version.

The anti-intellectual tenor of the McCain-Palin campaign has me thinking about a book I've been perusing. It's called Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter, by Rick Shenkman. It doesn't say much that I didn't already know: a tiny percentage understands our civic structures and the issues of the day. Television is a powerful medium for abuse. Nobody reads anymore.

What else is new?

Shenkman says that the greatest myth is that of the American People. I guess that's why Palin was so eager to blow off the questions she'd been asked in order to "talk directly" to them.

I'm starting to think that we should impose literacy and civics tests on white voters. There would be a sort of symmetry there, when you think about it.

More and more, this country scares me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Why We're Skipping Tonight's Debate

I was invited to friends' to watch the probable debacle of tonight's debate, but I'm not going. I won't be listening on the radio, either.

Why O why, I can hear some of you asking. Don't you want to be there when Joe Biden clearly outclasses her?

I can only hope that's what Joe will do. I like Joe Biden, even though he puts his foot in his mouth sometimes. After all,I have tasted my own toes once or twice. They could have used some sauce going down.

But having watched American Idol once or twice, I don't care to see it again. That show has emerged as an apt metaphor for what so many housewives in the Midwest seem to be feeling for La Sarah.
They are stoked that she's just like them! I could be vice president, too! When I see Sarah, I know that that could be meeeeee!

She's the sad little number who thinks that she sounds "just like" Mariah Carey and goes for all those vocal pyrotechnics, which sadly, she doesn't actually possess.

Maybe I'm afraid that Joe will come across like Simon Cowell, that her followers will then become even more protective about her lack of qualifications.
I don't know. I just have never really been comfortable with wanna-be singers hitting flat notes mid-cadenza, however obnoxious they may be.

Maybe I'm just waiting for Tina Fey.

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