Archive for September, 2008

Wait… What?

So apparently Facebook has hired Alberto Gonzalez’s former chief of staff to be its general counsel.  Awesome.  Here’s my favorite part of the story, though:

“[Gonzales's] leadership style is to listen and engage,” Ullyot told the Washington Post of Gonzales.

Um, is there another Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez?

September 30th, 2008 at 11:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans

Santa Ana B&W Ceiling Photoblogging

Ceilings can be fun!

Santa Ana Restaurant Ceiling 1

Ceiling of the Chinese restaurant our tour group ate at on the way to see the Terracotta Warriors at the Bowers Museum.

Santa Ana Restaurant Ceiling 3

Once more, with fisheye.

Bowers Museum Ceiling

The Bowers doesn’t allow photography, but the nice security guard got permission for me to take pictures of the ceiling. The look on his face when I asked was truly priceless.

September 30th, 2008 at 11:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: La Jolla/San Diego,Photoblogging

Tabloids Jump From Palin To McCain

Uh-oh.  The tabloids aren’t just covering Sarah Palin’s dodgy personal life now – they apparently just found out that Cindy McCain was a drug addict and John McCain covered it up.

As Kathy G. points out, the story may be old news to us political junkies, but now that it’s in the tabloids it’s going to find a whole new audience.

September 30th, 2008 at 07:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Media,Palin,Politics,Republicans

The Government According To Glenn

Glennzilla points out that the financial bailout legislation falls into the same pattern as all the other heinous legislation that the Republicans have passed with the Democrats’ willing cooperation, if not downright facilitation.

Of course, it didn’t end up passing, but that’s probably because it wasn’t quite heinous enough for the Republican caucus.  I have every confidence that the Democratic Congress will pass a bill that’s even worse, and that Steny Hoyer and Harry Reid will graciously usher it through.

Glenn’s ten defining characteristics of how our government works are still uncannily accurate, though:

(1) Incredibly complex and consequential new laws are negotiated in secret and then enacted immediately, with no hearings, no real debate, no transparency….

(2) Those who created the crisis, were wrong about everything, drive the process. Experts who dissent from the prevailing Washington orthodoxy, particularly ones who were presciently warning about what was happening, are simply ignored — systematically excluded from the process….

(3) Public opinion is largely ignored, as always, and public anger is placated through illusory, symbolic and largely meaningless concessions….

(4) The Government begins with demands for absolute power so brazen and absurd that anything, by comparison, seems reasonable….

(5) Wall Street, large corporations and their lobbyists own the Federal Government and both parties, and (therefore) they always win….

(6) The people who run the Washington Establishment are drowning in conflicts of interest….

Congressional leaders are, with very few exceptions, all vested heavily in Wall St. As but one example, Nancy Pelosi’s tens of millions of dollars are invested (.pdf) in firms such as AIG, AT&T and others. It only stands to reason — as always — that if Wall St. is both owning the Government and running it, it will prevail over the proverbial “Main Street” every time. And it does, and just did again.

(7) For all the anger over what Wall St. has done, the Government — as it bails them out — isn’t doing anything to rein in their practices. Nancy Pelosi today said: “We sent a message to Wall Street — the party is over,” but to the extent that’s true, the Government has done nothing to bring it to an end. To the contrary, by announcing — yet again — that there are never any consequences for recklessness and real corruption on the part of the ruling class, that behavior is only being further incentivized….

(8) When the Government wants greater and greater power and wants to engage in pure corruption, it need only put the population in extreme fear and it gets its way in every case. Establishment mavens rush forth to assure the public that they have no choice but to submit to what the Government is demanding. The anger and impotence level of the citizenry increases further, further alienating them from their Government and ensuring even greater levels of submission in the future, grounded in an accurate perception of futility.

(9) On the most consequential and fundamental questions that define the country, the establishment/leadership of both political parties are in full agreement, and insulate themselves from any political ramifications by acting jointly. Democrats in particular jump eagerly into line when told they must cooperate with the White House to avert whatever the Disaster du Jour is (and in this case, House Republicans were most impressive in defying these orders until they, too, were basically whipped into line), but ultimately, the differences between the parties at the level of their leadership are impossible to detect.

(10) Whenever you think that the Government has done things so extreme that it can’t top itself — torture, theories of presidential lawbreaking, a six-year war justified by blatantly false pretenses — it always tops itself….

I think Glenn has it just about covered.  Depressing, ain’t it.

September 29th, 2008 at 08:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans

Monday Media Blogging – Song & Dance Edition

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One of my favorite singers, at the top of his game.

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Mr. T dancing!  If I could include a Mr. T video in every MMB, I would.

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Dancing raccoons.  I have no idea what is actually going on here.

September 29th, 2008 at 11:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Not Going So Well For McCain

As Doc Slammy points out, McCain’s phony “I’m-suspending-my-campaign-so-I-can-rush-to-Washington-to-save-the-economy” stunt probably didn’t fool anyone and was a spectacular failure, to boot, and Tina Fey was once again lampooned as an airheaded moron on SNL.

Not to mention that the clumsy way McCain handled his stunt, blowing off David Letterman, has apparently made Letterman his enemy for life.  So that’s two late-night cultural icons who will be actively working against him.  And I suspect Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert probably won’t be doing him any favors either.

But it’s not just late-night entertainment media – McCain’s losing right-wing editorial boards too, even ones that haven’t endorsed a Democrat since 1936.

McCain’s greatest asset has become a liability.

September 29th, 2008 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Media,Palin,Politics,Republicans

Domestic Terrorism

So much for “us” being better than “they” are:

On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.

Read the whole diary, it’s horrible.  Because Muslims attacked us on 9/11 and are shooting at our troops, it’s okay to gas Muslim children?  The children of Muslims who had absolutely nothing to do with the terrorists other than being Muslim?  Islam is not a country; we’re not at war with it, or at least we shouldn’t be.  Disgusting.

September 28th, 2008 at 10:08pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Racism,Religion,Terrorism

Save The Bankers!

Jerome á Paris, being not an idiot, is skeptical that the bailout will be any good, and reminds us just how skewed our economic policy has been:

  • as the bailout calls for yet another transfer from poor to rich, it is worth noting that even in the good years, the vast majority of the population saw very little of the then much touted prosperity: incomes were stagnant or declining, while benefits declined, and healthcare and energy costs skyrocketed. Thus, current policies seem focused, at all times, on maximising the income of the few rather than that of the general population;
  • the next conclusion is that our political systems are completely geared towards fulfilling that last goal: politicians of all stripes are supporting the bailout despite massive protests by their constituents, just like they supported financial deregulation, labor market “reform”, “free” trade, the tax race to the bottom and other similar policy prescriptions in the past. Politicians are supported in that by a media system that brings to the fore pundits that are fully aligned with these prescriptions, and creates an incestuous class of insiders who, as it were, tend to personally benefit directly from the overall winner-takes-all policies put in place;
  • the quasi-unanimous support of the Serious People for the bailout, or at least their inability to point out that the current crisis was the inevitable conclusion of the policy framework pushed by the neolib cabal shows how successful they have been at killing alternative ideas as fringe or absurd or dangerous, and suggests that there still is an ideologial vacuum; alternative ideas are not “there” enough to be taken seriously despite the ongoing reality, and I’m not sure they will until the current elites are completely pushed out;

The most depressing part of this is the way our elected leaders, the ones we voted for to represent our interests, are completely ignoring the will of their nominal constituents – the people – in order to do the bidding of their actual constituents – the powerful.  It was the same with bankruptcy “reform,” and it was the same with telecom immunity.

Our senators and representatives are telling us, in no uncertain terms, that if we don’t have the big bucks, we simply don’t matter.  I wish I could say that it’s just those horrible Republicans, but the Democrats are even more on board with this bailout than Dubya’s own party.

Once again, the Democrats are in the wrong  morally, practically, and politically, which means that not only are they doing the country irreparable harm by blowing up the budget and making healthcare and energy reform impossible, but they are also putting their own congressional majorities in jeopardy by supporting something their voters despise.

Where is the leadership?  Where is the political savvy?  Where is the simple common sense?  Why are the Democrats so desperate to abdicate their power?

September 28th, 2008 at 02:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

The Obama Ad I Want To See

Yes, I found the LOL Builder…

September 27th, 2008 at 06:55pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Elections,McCain,Obama,Politics,Republicans

Playing The Expectations Game For Keeps

One of the time-honored traditions of political campaigning is to lower expectations for debates so that if your candidate manages to keep all their clothes on and avoid uttering any expletives, you can claim victory.  Well, the McCain campaign has really raised their game this time:

Capitol Hill sources are telling me that senior McCain people are more than concerned about Palin.

The campaign has held a mock debate and a mock press conference; both are being described as “disastrous.” One senior McCain aide was quoted as saying, “What are we going to do?” The McCain people want to move this first debate to some later, undetermined date, possibly never. People on the inside are saying the Alaska Governor is “clueless.”

Pow!  Take that, Obama!  There’s no way Biden can win the veep debate now, unless the Obama campaign leaks word that Joe’s had a stroke and can barely form complete sentences.  And even then it might still be a draw.

(Note: It’s not just the McCain campaign – the entire conservative punditocracy is in on the act as well.)

3 comments September 27th, 2008 at 02:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Palin,Politics,Republicans

Farewell To San Diego Air & Space Photoblogging

Okay, this is the last of ‘em.

SD Air & Space 29

Turbine in the trackless void.

SD Air & Space 31

A clutch of missiles bombs.

SD Air & Space 32

A broader view.

3 comments September 26th, 2008 at 06:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: La Jolla/San Diego,Photoblogging

It’s Alive!!!

So once upon a time, I had this idea for a McCain cartoon comparing his track record as a pilot to his likely performance as a president, but I have no artistic talent whatsoever.  Fortunately, Kagro X knew someone who did, and the next thing I knew, Dave The Rave made my dream a reality.

I love it when a plane comes together…

1 comment September 26th, 2008 at 11:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics,Economy,Elections,McCain,Politics

Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

This week’s quote is from the original Dudley Moore/Peter Cook Bedazzled:

Good morning, ma’am – we’re the Froony Green Eyewash men.

It makes perfect sense in context.

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s cats…

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It sounds like a cross between a kitten and Darth Vader…

(h/t WT)

September 26th, 2008 at 07:29am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Cuteness,Friday Quote & Cat Blogging,Monday Media Blogging

The Intersection

The AP tells a depressing-yet-somehow-familiar story:

The Iraqi prisoner had valuable intelligence, U.S. special forces believed, and they desperately wanted it. They demanded that expert American military trainers teach them the same types of abusive interrogation techniques that North Korea and Vietnamese forces once used against U.S. prisoners of war.

The trainers resisted, according to testimony prepared for a Senate hearing Thursday; the methods were intended to elicit confessions for propaganda use, rather than gather intelligence. They were overruled and ordered to demonstrate on the prisoner in September 2003, early in the war.

The interrogation went ahead before a lead trainer stepped in and stopped it. He and his team were sent home shortly thereafter.

(…)

“In far too many cases, we simply erred in pressing interrogation and interrogators beyond the edge of the envelope; as a result, interrogation was no longer an intelligence collection method; rather, it had morphed into a form of punishment for those who wouldn’t cooperate,” Col. Steven Kleinman said in his prepared testimony.

He headed the small team of military trainers from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency sent to Iraq in September 2003 to help special forces get more information from stubborn and resistant detainees.

“When presented with the choice of getting smarter or getting tougher, we chose the latter,” Kleinman stated.

This is the worst-case intersection of amorality and incompetence.  The Bush administration didn’t care about legality, decency, or even effectiveness – only cruelty and power.

Will we ever wash away the stain?

(h/t dakine)

September 25th, 2008 at 11:39pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Constitution,Iraq,Prisoners,Republicans,Terrorism,Torture

Penultimate San Diego Air & Space Photoblogging

I think I have just enough Air & Space photos for one more post after this one.

SD Air & Space 24

Return of the wee checkerboard plane.

SD Air & Space 26

Ooo, spooky ghost plane…

SD Air & Space 28

Not sure what kind of plane this was, but does it really matter?

September 25th, 2008 at 11:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: La Jolla/San Diego,Photoblogging

McCain’s Secret Tolerance

Hm, what to make of this…

The fainting couch is needed for Scott Tucker over at BlogCabin. He’s worked up over the reporting by Michelangelo Signorile and Mike Rogers about John McCain’s professionally closeted Senate chief of staff Mark Buse and the hypocrisy it represents, given the Republican nominee’s public anti-gay position on every major issue related to LGBT rights. (BTW, Mike Signorile has audio of an interview by Lisa Keen with yet another former Buse boyfriend who has gone on the record.)

(…)

If John McCain is personally inclusive, why can he not be so as a candidate? McCain might consider Buse a family friend and not fire him for being gay, but what about the young gay person working at a DQ with an anti-gay boss — he has no protections from getting axed if that boss learns of his employee’s orientation. It’s not inclusion when it only means the people in your inner circle.

(…)

[W]hat are you supposed to call someone who believe in tolerance on a one-to-one basis, but campaigns in support of anti-gay state marriage amendments, the continuation of DADT (“open homosexuality within the military services presents an intolerable risk to morale, cohesion, and discipline.”), hate crimes expansion, ENDA, etc.? A professional anti-gay personal homosexualist? Is that more accurate? Or perhaps…um, a hypocrite?

Hey, remember when Kerry and Biden said that they were personally opposed to abortion because of their Catholic faith, but they didn’t believe it was appropriate to impose their personal religious beliefs on the rest of America?  Maybe it’s the same with John McCain: He just doesn’t think it’s appropriate to impose his own personal tolerance on the rest of America.  And after all, isn’t that what tolerance is really all about?

September 25th, 2008 at 07:00am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Politics,Republicans,Teh Gay

That Makes John A Sad Panderer.

Poor Johnny McCain:

McCain’s involvement in the “last great financial scandal in our country” has largely been ignored by the media. But local Ohio reporter Tom Beres finally forced McCain to comment on the Keating Five scandal in an interview yesterday. “Talk of greedy bankers, lax regulation brings back memories of the Keating Five,” Beres reported:

BERES: Is there some relevance of that chapter, which I think you have acknowledged was maybe not your proudest moment?

MCCAIN: It was a very unhappy period in my life. But the fact is that I moved forward and I have been the greatest voice for reform and against corruption in Washington than anybody.

Which period?  The one when he was living the high life with his corrupt BFF, or the one when he was exposed as the corrupt wanker he really is?

Good thing he’s learned his lesson now, and has his crack team of high-powered lobbyists working on a plan to get big money out of politics.

September 24th, 2008 at 11:20pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain

McMake-Up

Hey, remember John Edwards’ effete liberal elitist $400 haircut?  Amateur.

Think John McCain is looking more handsome these days? Thank Tifanie White, Beverly Hills makeup artist to the stars — and the McCain campaign, which paid her $5,583.43 in August. US Weekly found White’s name in the Federal Election Commission filing of itemized disbursements; she’s better known for her work on “American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and, yes, Cindy McCain. The campaign had no comment.

Wow.  It takes over five thousand dollars to make John McCain look healthy.

September 24th, 2008 at 10:50pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain

Oxymoron Of The Week

See if you can spot it:

Senate Democrats emerged from a meeting Wednesday with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to report a general, conceptual — but fragile — agreement on a $700 billion plan to rescue the U.S. financial markets.

Senators said Paulson and the Democrats struck very tentative deals on Democratic demands on oversight and transparency, executive pay limits, and equity interest on taxpayers’ behalf as part of the massive plan. A hard-fought Democratic provision to allow bankruptcy judges to revise mortgage terms was not likely to survive the horse-trading, however, as Paulson would not agree to the provision that is already in the House and Senate versions.

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said a bill could be produced as early as Thursday, with debate and a vote likely over the weekend. Ideally, Durbin said the Senate would finish the bill before Wall Street opens on Monday.

(…)

Senators described a very somber, serious meeting, with Paulson describing the risk of inaction and working hard to sell the plan to skeptical Democrats during the closed-door caucus meeting.

Fantastic.  Once again our heroic leadership saves the day by giving Dubya and Wall Street everything they asked for.  This will surely endear Obama and the Democratic Party to ordinary working Americans – the only thing that could make this even better is if the Republicans end up opposing it and McCain gets to pretend to be a mavericky populist.

3 comments September 24th, 2008 at 10:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Wankers

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Once again, the Weekly World News’ hard-hitting election coverage scoops the world:

A former doctor of Republican Presidential Candidate, Senator John McCain, claims the reason McCain has continually refused to release his medical records is because he is, in fact, a cyborg!

Dr. John Lawler, renowned gastroenterologist at Walter Reed Medical Center, reports that during a routine medical inspection, he discovered what he believed to be polyps on Sen. McCain’s colon. Upon further inspection, Dr. Lawler discovered what appeared to be thumbnail sized microchips throughout Sen. McCain’s digestive and nervous system.

Calls to the Hanoi Hilton have not been returned, although a recent press release from medical personnel formerly employed by the Viet Cong suggest prior knowledge of McCain’s cyborg status. The press release, dated September 15, 2008 denies any role in transforming McCain into a machine.

This is not the first time that claims of a Northern Vietnamese program to infiltrate the United States government with cyborg operatives have emerged. However, until now, hard proof of such a program has been unavailable.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, a request has been submitted to the Federal Government on behalf of Weekly World News to require the McCain Campaign to release all medical records for the Senator.

Well, now we finally know what McCain’s been hiding.  Are cyborgs even constitutionally eligible to be president?

Also, if he’s gasoline-powered, I think it’s fair to ask how this would impact his foreign policy decisions.

September 24th, 2008 at 11:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

Quick Bailout Thoughts

I hope Obama and the Democrats keep in mind that every dollar that goes towards the bailout is a dollar that can’t be spent on universal healthcare or lower-bracket tax cuts.  So they really need to make sure that the bailout cost is really the absolute minimum needed to stabilize the economy, and that none of it is wasted on making life easier for the Wall Street wankers who created the crisis.  I also like some kind of variation of Bernie Sanders’ 10% surtax on people making over a million a year.  Give the rest of us a break and let the rich pay for their own mess.

I also can’t help wondering: If the Republicans and Bush administration had given a damn about giving the rest of us a break, and had addressed the stagnation and even decreases in real wages and increases in the unemployed and underemployed (not to mention the lack of healthcare or protections against predatory lending practices)… would there even be as many people defaulting on their mortgages right now?  There is economic value to a healthy consumer class, but Republicans just can’t grasp the concept of trickle-up.

September 24th, 2008 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy

Blue Dogs = Made Of Fail

Here’s a lovely little trip down memory lane, as Brendan reminds us that the Blue Dogs who are balking at bankruptcy reform now were totally on board with it in 2005.  Indeed, their default position on all matters financial is pretty much, “Whatever the corporations want.”

Are there, in fact, any issues that the Blue Dogs are with us on?  For the life of me, I just can’t think of any.  They’re pro-war, pro-business, pro-life, pro-warrantless-wiretapping, anti-healthcare, and anti-gay.  I’m pretty sure most of them are pro-torture and anti-environment, too.  Do they serve any positive purpose other than giving Democrats an ineffectual paper majority, or allowing Rahm to pretend he’s a genius for getting Republicans to run as Democrats?

I would be perfectly happy to see a bunch of them lose their seats this year, retaining just the bare minimum to maintain a Democratic majority.  I’m tempted to go beyond that, but I don’t want to see another president impeached for being a Democrat.

September 23rd, 2008 at 11:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

How Inconveeeenient.

This is what happens when you piss off the media…

One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.

Oh yeah, this’ll do wonders for McCain’s credibility on dealing with the mortgage crisis.  Almost as much as the fact that he has 83 Wall Street lobbyists on his staff…

September 23rd, 2008 at 09:38pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain,Media,Politics,Republicans

I Knew It!

I knew Paulson’s bailout proposal reminded me of something…

Dear American:

I cordially correspond today to request you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused urgent need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion USD. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gramm, lobbyist for UBS, who (God willing) will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a former U.S. congressional leader and the architect of the PALIN / McCain Financial Doctrine, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. As such, you can be assured that this transaction is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred. For this inconvenience you will be rewarded with grand fees of 1/1,000,000th of 1% of possible profits due to off shore laundering of skim funds due to reprinting of said funds.

Please reply with mother’s maiden name, routing and account numbers of all of your bank account, IRA and college fund accounts and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully,

Minister of Treasury Paulson

This sounds like a really swell awesome deal, plus it’s good karma to help out a struggling third-world country in need.

(h/t All Spin Zone & Jesse Wendel)

September 23rd, 2008 at 11:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Republicans

Mark Morford Is Shrill, With A Capital SHRI

He points out that any remotely pro-choice or progressive women who support Sarah Palin are perhaps, um, misguided:

Truly, among women in the know and especially among those who fought so hard to bring Hillary Clinton to the brink of history, nausea and a general recoiling appear to be the universal reactions to Palin’s sudden presence on the national stage, stemming straight from the idea that there’s even a slight chance in hell such an antagonistic, anti-female politico could be within a 72-year-old heartbeat of becoming the most powerful and iconic woman of all time.

They say: You’ve got to be kidding me. They say: This is what we get? This could be our historic role model? Two hundred years (OK, more like 2000) of struggle, only to have this nasty caricature of femininity try to hijack and mock and undermine it all?

It cannot be true, they say. The universe must be joking, would not dare dump such a homophobic, Creationist evangelical nutball on us, this anti-choice, God-pandering woman who’s the inverse of Hillary, this woman of deep inexperience who abhors birth control and supports abstinence education and shoots exhausted wolves from helicopters and hates polar bears and actually stands for everything progressive women have resented since the first pope Swift-Boated Eve.

But now, the truly bizarre part. Despite this defiant outcry, a great many pundits and reports have suggested that, just after the Palin VP announcement, a sizable chunk of predominantly white women nevertheless abandoned their tentative support for Obama and leapt into the lyin’ arms of McCain, presumably simply because of Palin’s gender and PTA momhood.

And thus did the harrowing wail go out: WTF? Could it be true? Are cadres of formerly Obama-leaning white women really so enchanted by Palin’s gender and motherhood status that they openly ignore the fact that she basically wants to shove women’s rights back about five decades? Can it be so simple, crude, sad?

(…)

Maybe we’re just not used to seeing the female voting demographic depicted this way. Truly, it’s usually men who are the knuckleheaded ones, who will flip their vote merely over a single inconsequential issue (“I like everything about Obama except he supports gun control, and I love my guns, so I guess I gotta go for McCain”). Women, according to the eternal mythology, are no such dupes, and choose more wisely, from deeper intuition, instinct. Right?

Wrong. Maybe this is our simple summary, the blaring headline we should be reading in the wake of recent events. “Easily duped Palin supporters prove: Some white women are just as dumb as men.” Is that all it is? Maybe so.

There is hope, though:

Ah, but there is good news. It appears the bloom is already off the McPalin rose, the baby bump she gave McCain is already gone, as everyone from here to Wasilla is sick to death of hearing about her. Every day that goes by it comes clearer that the Sarah juggernaut is no juggernaut at all but merely an increasingly disturbing PR stunt, and a bit of a disgrace for John McCain himself, whose once-noble aura of integrity and class has essentially vanished.

A potent backlash is coming fast….

Morford then points to how the $1 million the McCain campaign raised in the wake of Arctic Storm Sarah was dwarfed by the $10 million the Obama campaign raised, suggesting that Palin horrifies Democrats far more than she galvanizes Republicans.  I know she sure as hell horrifies me.  Hopefully by November she’ll horrify everyone else who gives even the remotest damn about choice and women’s rights.

(h/t OrangeClouds)

2 comments September 23rd, 2008 at 07:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Choice,Elections,Media,Palin,Politics,Republicans

Monday Media Blogging – Complete Insanity Edition

The Martin Circus – I think it’s titled “Je vais m’eclater au Senegal”:

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Nice slippers, dude.

And the insane and creepy “Chronophage” clock, with the very conspicuous grasshopper escapement:

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Eep.

September 22nd, 2008 at 06:25pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

McCain Promises To Shake Up Washington By Keeping Everything The Same

Wow, he’s not even president yet, and already he’s come out in favor of cloning:

When Gov. Sarah Palin flew home to Alaska for the first time since being named the Republican vice presidential nominee, she brought along at least half a dozen new advisers to conduct briefings, stage-manage her first television interview and help her prepare for a critical debate next month.

And virtually every member of the team shared a common credential: years of service to President Bush.

From Mark Wallace, a Bush appointee to the United Nations, to Tucker Eskew, who ran strategic communications for the Bush White House, to Greg Jenkins, who served as the deputy assistant to Bush in his first term and was executive director of the 2004 inauguration, Palin was surrounded on the trip home by operatives deeply rooted in the Bush administration.

The clutch of Bush veterans helping to coach Palin reflects a larger reality about Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign: Far from being a group of outsiders to the Republican Party power structure, it is now run largely by skilled operatives who learned their crafts in successive Bush campaigns and various jobs across the Bush government over the past eight years.

Now that’s lack of change you can believe in.  Is “fauxverick” a word?

(h/t Teddy Partridge)

September 22nd, 2008 at 07:53am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain,Politics,Republicans

Monday Media Blogging – Sudden Realization Edition

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First they “reformed” FISA, then they nationalized AIG, Fannie and Freddie Mae.  You know what that means: The Bush administration is now Big Brother and The Holding Company.

September 22nd, 2008 at 07:05am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Monday Media Blogging

Just Because You Need To Do Something, Doesn’t Mean You Have To Do Just Anything

It’s very clear that the Bush administration is running the same playbook they ran on Iraq and FISA: Give us everything we want or the world will end OMG!!1!1!  It’s not as clear whether the Democrats have learned their lesson:

Congressional Democrats have promised to work with Treasury on the Paulson plan, but they’ve also signaled that they’ll want it to include or be conditioned on the passage of provisions it doesn’t have now — among them, greater oversight, foreclosure-prevention measures and a cap on the compensation for CEOs whose companies would be helped.

In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that the government’s “first priority” must be to prevent a “global financial meltdown” — but that the president still has to make the case for the plan his administration has sent to Congress.

“While the Bush proposal raises some serious issues, we need to resolve them quickly. I am confident that, working together, we will,” Reid said. “Meanwhile, I call on the president to better explain to the public the severity of the threat all Americans face, and why he believes his approach is needed.”

A House Democratic leadership aide said House Democrats won’t be in a position to send the message the White House wants until it’s clear that they’ll get more oversight into the plan. “There are concerns about these unprecedented powers, and we just want more oversight, a congressional board or [Government Accountability Office] oversight authority,” the aide said. “We just need to strengthen the oversight.

Harry Reid is sounding awfully accommodating.  Yeah, there will be some oversight provisions, but it doesn’t really sound like he’s pushing for massive structural changes.  Will they even be able to get that?

Dean Baker, a liberal economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said he has told congressional Democrats that Bush is the one who is in the delicate situation and would therefore be unlikely to veto whatever package Democrats send to him, as long as it gives Paulson some of what he needs.

“I can’t imagine Bush would veto something Democrats send him,” he said. “I just can’t believe he’s prepared to say, ‘If you don’t give me exactly what I want, the financial markets collapse.’ I can’t believe he’d do that.”

Um… why on earth not?

September 21st, 2008 at 09:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans

The Republikons – Less Than Meets The Eye

Claire McCaskill on the free-market Republicans, by way of Bob Geiger:

“Here is the thing that is killing me — it is just killing me,” said the Missouri Senator. “All of the folks who have been screaming: Deregulation, get government off our backs, evil government off our backs, big bad government off our backs, deregulate, deregulate, deregulate — in the last 24 hours there has been — do you remember the transformer toys that went from an animal to a massive machine? We have transformers around here.”

“These massive deregulation advocates all of a sudden say: We have to enforce rules on Wall Street. We have to regulate.”

McCaskill also jumped on how GOP opportunists like McCain — who are also scurrying to cover for their records over the last two decades — suddenly think government has a role in protecting American taxpayers and now advocate a law-and-order approach with their Wall-Street benefactors.

“They are enforcing it today. Why wasn’t it enforced last week? Why weren’t the rules enforced the week before? Why weren’t the rules enforced last year?” asked McCaskill. “They didn’t want to. It is pretty simple. Nobody wanted to enforce the rules. Why not? Because the titans of Wall Street were in charge. The titans of Wall Street have had their way with this White House.”

(…)

“Do you think we are dumb? You can’t transform overnight from a big bad deregulator to I am now the cop on the beat; I’ll take care of Wall Street. It is not honest. Be principled,” she demanded of her colleagues across the aisle. “If you are a deregulator and you want to live with these consequences, you want to say to the American people: Hey, when we deregulate, this is the risk. This is the risk we are taking with your money.”

“If the law is on the books and this administration is not enforcing it, they need to explain to the American public why the taxpayers are now on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars because these guys didn’t think it was important to enforce the rules against their friends.”

Yeah; what she said.  The Republicans have absolutely zero credibility on this.

September 21st, 2008 at 03:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans

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