Saturday, October 11, 2008

Throwing an Election

Glenn Greenwald / Salon

As the Right increasingly (a) demands to hear more about Bill Ayers and Obama The Communist/Muslim Terrorist and (b) proclaims Sarah Palin to be the darling of the Regular American and the new right-wing superstar — claims that are converging in the traveling lynch mob tour known as the “McCain/Palin campaign” — two new polls, one from Newsweek and one from Fox, conclusively demonstrate how out-of-touch and fringe the Right has become. Both polls show that as the Right reveals its true Ayers-driven face to the nation, (a) Obama’s popularity holds steady while McCain and Palin’s plummets, and (b) Sarah Palin is a massive liability for the McCain campaign.

... the rest after the click.

Body Politics: Sarah Palin's Body Language And Why It Should Worry You

Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks

Since our last post, we've been asked many times to comment on Sarah Palin's mannerisms. Her Body-Talk is not as blatant as her running mate, probably because she has a background as a performer in beauty pageants and television. She has learned to conceal the smirks and clenches that play so openly across the countenance of John McCain.

In our work we call body language the Five Flags, because there are five major ways human beings react when they're not speaking the authentic truth. Twitches and jaw-clenches are examples of Flag #1, Body-Flags. To understand Sarah Palin, though, you need to understand Flags #2 and #3, Voice-Flags and Attitude-Flags. The English word 'personality' comes from two Latin words, per and sona, "through sound." The Romans knew that the personality comes through in the tone of voice and other vocal aspects.

From thirty-five years of clinical experience, we can tell you a lot about Sarah Palin's real personality and why it makes many people even more nervous that John McCain's.

... the rest after the click.

Washington wept ...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Math Skills Suffer in U.S., Study Finds


The United States is failing to develop the math skills of both girls and boys, especially among those who could excel at the highest levels, a new study asserts, and girls who do succeed in the field are almost all immigrants or the daughters of immigrants from countries where mathematics is more highly valued.

The study suggests that while many girls have exceptional talent in math — the talent to become top math researchers, scientists and engineers — they are rarely identified in the United States. A major reason, according to the study, is that American culture does not highly value talent in math, and so discourages girls — and boys, for that matter — from excelling in the field. The study will be published Friday in Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

... the rest after the click.

Find the study here ...

I guess we file this under "No Child Left Behind"? But I can't help but wonder how we plan to compete in the future. I guess we'd better cut some more taxes ... or borrow some more. Borrow would be a good idea! After all, paying taxes is NOT a patriotic kinda thing.

Why do Republicans hate democracy?

Every election cycle there are instances of voter fraud across the country and by both parties. However, it seems to me that the Republicans have a thing for voter supression - preventing people from voting.

Here's a piece for Huffington Post that caught my eye:

The Republican noise machine is going absolutely full-force after ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), accusing them of committing vote fraud on a massive scale. You can't turn on the radio or TV without hearing that millions of illegal votes will be cast for Obama because of ACORN's massive vote fraud. If you Google "Acorn" and "rigging" you get over 50,000 hits.

The Republican National Committee website is headlining the effort. And they are issuing accusation press releases all day, every day, to drive this effort. They have a "fact sheet" listing numerous accusations.

Here's the thing: ACORN is registering voters and is REQUIRED BY LAW to submit voter reg forms as the voter fills them out. Even so, the total "fraudulent" registrations they are accused of submitting nationwide is very low, maybe a few thousand. This is across the entire country when they have registered more than 1.3 million new voters. And this is all about registration forms that are filled out wrong by the voter, not ACORN, or a voter submitting more than one registration. This is what all the noise is about.

... the rest after the click.

What really counts in the end?

Electoral votes ... that's what counts.

Click for

Who is Barack Obama?

The guy has been campaigning for the last nineteen months. I think we have a pretty good idea who he is. If you don't know who Barack Obama is at this point, you haven't been paying attention. If you haven't been paying attention, you're probably too friggin' dumb to be participating in a democracy and I'd appreciate it if you simply didn't bother to vote.

The real question is who the hell is Sara Palin? She's only been on that national scene for about 6 weeks. She refuses to do interviews and her ethics are being investigated by a Republican dominated legislature in her home state of Alaska. Her husband belonged to the Alaska Independence Party (AIP), a party that "has no use for American institutions" and wants Alaska to succeed from the union. She, herself, has recorded messages played at their annual conventions, complimenting them on their great work and wishing them every success. Her statements during this campaign are calculated to divide rather than unite this country.

Why isn't anyone asking who the hell Sara Palin is?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Experience in Government: Town Meeting, Wasilla, Alaska

A dramatic reading of the minutes of the meeting -

or get the video here after the click.

Debate Afterthought

Remember that young, black dude at the debate? The one McSame dis-ed by saying, "You've probably never heard of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac before ... "? Remember him?

Well, his name was Oliver Clark and, it turns out he has:

-- a Bachelors in Political Science from Tennessee State
-- a Masters in Legal Studies from Southern Illinois University
-- a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Memphis

and he likes to keep up with current events. Incidentally, he'd heard abut Fanny and Freddie before.

I guess these days you just can't make the same assumptions about a black face that you could back in the 60s, John. The kid probably knows more about Fanny and Freddie than you do! But then, like you said, the economy isn't your strong suit.

Check it out.

Palin's Foreign Policy Experience

Calendars Show Gov. Palin's Foreign Policy Experience: About 20 Meetings for About 12 Hours

Mother Jones

In her first interview after John McCain picked her to be the GOP's vice presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin claimed that her foreign policy credentials were enhanced because "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska." She also pointed out that she had experience dealing with trade delegations. Later, asked by CBS News' Katie Couric if she had ever participated in negotiations with Russia, Palin said, "We have trade missions back and forth. We—we do—it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia ."

But the calendars tracking Palin's official meetings during her tenure as governor contain not one listing indicating she ever met with a Russian official. In fact, the 562 pages of her daily schedules—obtained by Mother Jones under Alaska's Open Records Act—indicate that Palin had few meetings at all with any foreign representatives and rarely dealt with any topic related to foreign policy. The schedules include about 20 meetings, events, or phone calls in which Palin interacted with foreign officials. And in many instances, these interactions were cursory or ceremonial and did not involve policy details. According to the schedules released, Palin spent roughly 12 hours over the course of 19 months on these meetings. (This doesn't count what happened during a four-day trip she took to Kuwait to visit members of the Alaska National Guard. The schedules for those days do not detail whom she met.) The calendars show no meetings between her and a trade delegation from any nation.

.... the rest after the click.

Just curious ...

Doesn't "abstinence only" education prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that HOPE IS A PLAN?

The US goes Bananas

Andrew Sullivan / Vanity Fair

In a statement on the huge state-sponsored salvage of private bankruptcy that was first proposed last September, a group of Republican lawmakers, employing one of the very rudest words in their party’s thesaurus, described the proposed rescue of the busted finance and discredited credit sectors as “socialistic.” There was a sort of half-truth to what they said. But they would have been very much nearer the mark—and rather more ironic and revealing at their own expense—if they had completed the sentence and described the actual situation as what it is: “socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the rest.”

I have heard arguments about whether it was Milton Friedman or Gore Vidal who first came up with this apt summary of a collusion between the overweening state and certain favored monopolistic concerns, whereby the profits can be privatized and the debts conveniently socialized, but another term for the same system would be “banana republic.”

... the rest after the click.


George Washington University, DC (Tuesday before the debate had started), two friends were talking at a table.

Guy 1: Man... debate or class. Debate or class.
Guy 2: You don't know who you're going to vote for yet?
Guy 1: Nope.
Guy 2: Well, if you're still on the fence, then you're a moron and I'd appreciate it if you didn't vote.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Kiw da wabbit!

I can't help it. I go through life and everywhere I look, I see scenes from comic books and cartoons. I watched the debate on Tuesday night. It didn't strike me at the time but all day today, on the news channels, in YouTube clips sent by friends and linked from the millions of political blogs I track in my news reader, I've been confronted by clips from the debate.

At one point, the phone rang and I put the little TV in my office on "mute". It was a wrong number ... but I kept watching the clip from the debate with the sound off. That's when it struck me! Elmer Fudd and Buggs Bunny!

There was John McCain, stalking around the debate stage with a microphone in his hand, looking for all the world like the spitting image of Elmer Fudd! All that was missing was the cute little hunting hat and he double barrel shot gun. I could just hear him muttering angrily under his breath, "Kiw da wabbit! Kiw da wabbit!"

And there, on the other side of the stage, sitting leisurely on a stool, one leg languidly extended, dapper and cool, with just the hint of a smile sat Barack Obama .... looking for all the world like Buggs Bunny. I could almost see him munching on a carrot and occasionally huffing on his nails, then polishing them on the lapel of his suit.

The image goes further. At least it goes further in my mind. As I'm sure you know, every time Elmer tries to "kiw da wabbit" he ends up hurting himself.

That was the debate in a nut shell.

For what it's worth ...

I'm votin' for That One ...!!

You knew that McCain was going to have to pay for "That one", right?

Thank You For Covering Our Assets

(Not the bill in the article - but close enough.)

Like most Americans, Laura Gilbert is outraged by the stock market mayhem, and she would like to wring the necks of those responsible. Failing that, she'd like to ask them soul-searching questions such as, "How do you feel about tanking the economy?" and "Can we have our money back?"

Unlike most Americans, Gilbert devised a plan to vent her anger and pose her questions. A full-time artist based in New York, Gilbert used a computer and her drawing skills to create the "The Zero Dollar," a slightly shrunken version of the greenback. Yesterday, she headed to Wall Street, hoping to find the masters of finance who have just body-slammed our economy and, as she put it, "confront them with my art."

... the rest after the click.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Politics As Usual

The McCain Video Library

Sarah Palin Strips for McCain

The Angry John McCain Song

John McCain Kicks It "Old School" - Maverick Rap Song

For those who are having a little trouble figuring it all out

Wonkette nails it - Economics 101, kids:

1) A lot of banks made bad housing loans. A lot of financial people bought up these bad loans. A lot of people insured these bad loans. Add several more layers on a global scale.

2) Housing prices fell.

3) Much wealth was lost.

This actually happened, and it has a lot to do with why we’re digging into a deep global recession! On Wall Street, this means asset values… drop! They drop and drop and drop, because no one has much money or credit, and then everyone sells because they’re going to keep dropping dropping dropping. And then when the Dow has dropped 800 points, Wall Street says to itself, “Whoa, 800’s a lot, so now we buy shit?” So it only ends down 350 points — manageable! — and people pretend for another day that maybe our economy won’t contract during a recession, definitions and comeuppance be damned.

... more after the click.

I guess the question now is who knew what and when did they know it?

A good buddy was reassuring. He said the market ALWAYS comes back.

Cramer, on Mad Money, says figure out how much money you're going to need over the next five years and get it the hell out of the market. I found that somewhat less reassuring ...

Can you spell "depression"? I know I'm depressed.