Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's the Truth that Makes it Funny

Or get the video after the click.

A Moment of Reflection

Less Than Formal Wear

The death of an unholy alliance

Since Reagan and the Moral Majority fiscal conservatives (FCs) and cultural conservatives (CCs) have held to a non-aggression pact that has allowed them victory after victory in elections at every level across the country. But it's been an uneasy alliance. FCs have always looked down on their CC brethren, thinking them to be illiterate boobs and hicks. CCs have always seen FCs as materialistic and godless. They tolerated each other because each saw the means to their ends in the other. FCs had the political power that CCs lacked while CCs provided the masses of rabble wielding pitchforks and torches at the voting booth.

It was a marriage of convenience with large doses of cynicism on both sides of the relationship.

As far as FCs were concerned, the CCs could agitate for anything they wanted - they could be anti-choice, pro-gun, anti-gay, pro-school prayer, bigoted, racist xenophobes - as long as they provided sufficient numbers of agitated villagers at the ballot box to carry election day and didn't accumulate too much political capital. It was easy enough to hold one's nose and pay lip service to a CC agenda that, in a diverse culture, was pretty obviously going nowhere. Even a cursory glance that the CCs agenda was enough to demonstrate that virtually every iota of it was unconstitutional, illegal or fattening and therefore a non-starter.

CCs, on the other hand, hoped that the FCs political experience, connections and clout could help them change all that.

Then came George W. Bush, a born-again, belligerent illiterate with an Oedipal complex. After eight years of profligate spending on an unnecessary war, an expansion of government beyond the bounds of imagination, maxing out the national credit cards and a spectacular trashing of the economy through fiscal policies of deregulation designed to give any adult involved in the financial sector the mentality of a six year old turned loose in a candy store, the FCs started to have some serious second thoughts.

The election cycle of 2008 is a marvel of re-alignment. FCs (the segment of the unholy alliance of fiscal and cultural conservatives with the functioning brain cells) has suddenly discovered that they have more in common with the "Librul Left" than they do with the CC right! They agree with Progressives that the important issues confronting us are in the money - how it's gathered, how it's spent, the size of government, fiscal policy, monetary policy, economics, economic stability and the Market. The disagreement lies in the details but, at least they're speaking the same language. Confronted with ample evidence that totally unregulated free market capitalism and "trickle-down" economics are simply not viable, we suddenly see hard line ideologues becoming open minded pragmatists willing to exploring other ideas that might get things back to a "normal" they can recognize.

If you're wondering why an almost unending line of bright, intelligent, sincere Republicans are suddenly lining up to endorse Barack Obama, there I believe, is the reason. If you ever wondered why so many people of so many stripes see Obama as a real "uniter not a divider", I believe that is the reason.

The economic crisis is real and the CCs agenda does nothing to address it. Economics is simply not on their list of priorities. They don't have words for it or a frame of reference that recognizes it. (Eskimos have twenty seven words for snow - people who speak Aramaic have maybe one.) Figuring out who can marry who or whether the government should take over the conversation between a woman and her doctor furthers nothing to dig us out of the rubble of an economic meltdown.

Figuring out how to get out of this mess is everything - and all the details are negotiable if you can work with someone who at least speaks the same language and agrees on what the important issues are.

Friday, October 24, 2008

John McCain Is Barack Obama's New Deal Mandate-Maker

By David Sirota

John McCain is doing what no progressive political leader has been able to do in at least a generation, if not more: He's creating a New Deal mandate for the next president, should that next president be Barack Obama. Indeed, in tacking to the hard economic right and focusing the presidential debate on "socialism" and "wealth redistribution," McCain is creating a very clear decision for our country: Either we reject his neo-Reaganism and the regressive redistribution machine that I describe in my new newspaper column this week. Or, we vote to preserve the regressive redistribution machine that has created the most economically unequal America since the Great Depression.

What's so weird is that in this economic drama, McCain - not Barack Obama - is really in the starring role.

That's because while Obama has offered up a progressive-though-moderate agenda slightly to the left of Clinton-ish neoliberalism, McCain has gone totally ideological. In doing that, he has polarized the argument and turned the election into a referendum on the economic Darwinism of the conservative movement - a Darwinism that, as my column shows, has built a machine that confiscates middle-class wealth and sends it up the income ladder.

... get the rest of the story after the jump.

My comment:
I'm struck by a cartoon image that's bouncing around in my mind. The scene is a lifeboat. At one end, the sinking end, sits a very wealthy man - his wealth represented by large bags of gold - and his end of the boat is sinking under the weight. Crowded together at the other end of the lifeboat - the end lifted high in the air by the weight at the other end of the lifeboat - is a group of emaciated people in tattered clothing - representing the poor and the middle class.

And the rich man says, "What do you mean you want to redistribute the weight?"

Tom Tomorrow's Test for Real Americans. Ewe Betcha!

(click the image fo de rest o' de test)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where is the Real America?

There are no real or fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation – we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from. There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq and patriots who opposed it; patriots who believe in Democratic policies and those who believe in Republican policies. The men and women from Virginia and all across America who serve on our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the United States of America.

We have always been at our best when we've had leadership that called us to look past our differences and come together as one nation, as one people; leadership that rallied this entire country to a common purpose – to a higher purpose. And I am running for President of the United States of America because that is the country we need to be right now.

This country and the dream it represents are being tested in a way that we haven't seen in nearly a century. And future generations will judge ours by how we respond to this test. Will they say that this was a time when America lost its way and its purpose? When we allowed the same divisions and fear tactics and our own petty differences to plunge this country into a dark and painful recession?

Or will they say that this was another one of those moments when America overcame? When we battled back from adversity by recognizing that common stake that we have in each other's success?

This is one of those moments. I realize you're cynical and fed up with politics. I understand that you're disappointed and even angry with your leaders. You have every right to be. But despite all of this, I ask of you what's been asked of the American people in times of trial and turmoil throughout our history. I ask you to believe – to believe in yourselves, in each other, and in the future we can build together.

-- Barack Obama in Richmond, VA

Why McCain Has Lost Our Vote

by CC Goldwater

Being Barry Goldwater's granddaughter and living in Arizona, one would assume that I would be voting for our state's senator, John McCain. I am still struck by certain 'dyed in the wool' Republicans who are on the fence this election, as it seems like a no-brainer to me.

Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year. We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics. I learned a lot about my grandfather while producing the documentary, Mr. Conservative Goldwater on Goldwater. Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.

... read the rest after the jump.

My comment: It seems to me that Barry Goldwater invented the Conservative movement in this country.

Ready for anything

I kinda like the "Mondrian-esque" flavor of the pic. What do you think?

Why do Republicans hate democracy? Part 2,465

... or check out the video after the jump.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Republicans for Obama ... and why

... or get the video after the jump.

Let's see if I got this straight

When Hammas "endorses" (sic) Obama, you say they're just being straight and they're really endorsing Obama.

When al Qaeda says they hope McCain is elected president, you said they're using reverse psychology.

How do we know you got it right?

Because you say you do?

Logic on the right, this time around, reminds me of the famous poisoned cup scene in "The Princess Bride".

When do we Vote?

Beth Broderick on Huffington Post

"When do we vote?" Elizabeth "Libba" Grant must have asked this a dozen times over the past few weeks. She had been transferred to Palliative care and she knew better than anyone that the end was near. At eighty-one years of age she figured this was only fair, but she had some business to attend to before she took her leave.

Libba loved politics. She was a life long Democrat ... a yella dog through and through and she never missed a chance to participate. Libba had marched for Civil rights, fought for women's equality and rallied her fellow Southerners in support of many a worthy cause. She had always voted with pride and conviction, but she could never remember a time when she felt so urgent about it. Death would simply have to wait.

... the rest after the jump.

My comment: As I read the full piece, I couldn't keep the thought out of my mind that there are some who think that Libba as anti-American and who think she hates what this country is about. They would tell you that Libba is not part of the Real America.

You probably already know that I don't see it that way. I think they are wrong ... as they've been about so many things.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If a tree falls in the forest ...

National Impeachment Movement Ignored by Corporate Media
By Peter Phillips

If a national movement calling for the impeachment of the President is rapidly emerging and the corporate media are not covering it, is there really a national movement for the impeachment of the President?

Impeachment advocates are widely mobilizing in the U.S. Over 1,000 letters to the editors of major newspapers have been printed in the past six months asking for impeachment. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette letter writer George Matus says, “I am still enraged over unasked questions about exit polls, touch-screen voting, Iraq, the cost of the new Medicare…who formulated our energy policy, Jack Abramoff, the Downing Street Memos, and impeachment.” David Anderson in McMinnville, Oregon pens to the Oregonian, “Where are the members of our congressional delegation now in demanding the current president’s actions be investigated to see if impeachment or censure are appropriate actions?” William Dwyer’s letter in the Charleston Gazette says, “Congress will never have the courage to start the impeachment process without a groundswell of outrage from the people.”

City councils, boards of supervisors, and local and state level Democrat central committees have voted for impeachment. Arcata, California voted for impeachment on January 6. The City and County of San Francisco, voted Yes on February 28. The Sonoma County Democrat Central Committee (CA) voted for Impeachment on March 16. The townships of Newfane, Brookfield, Dummerston, Marlboro and Putney in Vermont all voted for impeachment the first week of March. The New Mexico State Democrat party convention rallied on March 18 for the ”impeachment of George Bush and his lawful removal from office.” The national Green Party called for impeachment on January 3. Op-ed writers at the St. Petersburg Times, Newsday, Yale Daily News, Barrons, Detroit Free Press, and the Boston Globe have called for impeachment. The San Francisco Bay Guardian (1/25/06) The Nation (1/30/06) and Harpers (3/06) published cover articles calling for impeachment. As of March 16, thirty-two US House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors to House Resolution 635, which would create a Select Committee to look into the grounds for recommending President Bush’s impeachment.

... the rest after the jump.

Rovebots at work ... stealing your vote *

Block the Vote

Will the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president?

in Rolling Stone

These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare mesas. In national elections, the town overwhelmingly votes Democratic: More than 80 percent of all residents are Hispanic, and one in four lives below the poverty line. On February 5th, the day of the Super Tuesday caucus, a school-bus driver named Paul Maez arrived at his local polling station to cast his ballot. To his surprise, Maez found that his name had vanished from the list of registered voters, thanks to a statewide effort to deter fraudulent voting. For Maez, the shock was especially acute: He is the supervisor of elections in Las Vegas.

Maez was not alone in being denied his right to vote. On Super Tuesday, one in nine Democrats who tried to cast ballots in New Mexico found their names missing from the registration lists. The numbers were even higher in precincts like Las Vegas, where nearly 20 percent of the county's voters were absent from the rolls. With their status in limbo, the voters were forced to cast "provisional" ballots, which can be reviewed and discarded by election officials without explanation. On Super Tuesday, more than half of all provisional ballots cast were thrown out statewide.

... get the rest after the jump.

Steal Back Your Vote

... or get the video here after the jump.

* [A tip o'the hat to James G. for passing this along to share.]

Roll with it, Johnny!

... or pick up on the video after the click.

Ya might have to listen to it a couple times to get it all. Yes siree! Ewe Betcha!

Gap Grows Between U.S. Richie Riches and Wretched American Poor

Wonkette gets serious for a moment:

Of America’s many great achievements in this young century, nothing can really top the savage rape and murder of the American Dream. Nobody really mentions it anymore, but ancient texts refer to this notion that everyone, through hard work, could become free and happy through the earning of riches, and then their kids would do even better, etc. Well, it is no longer true. Since the year 2000, only the wealthy have made more money. Everybody else is fucked, and the divide is rapidly getting wider. This is the conclusion of a three-year study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a communist-terrorist group consisting of the United States and other rich nations.

The gap between America’s rich and poor has been growing for decades — since the Reagan Era, specifically — but the lopsided prosperity of the Clinton years did trickle down a little bit to the poor, and the middle class was barely holding on to its shaky rung of the ladder. Those minimal gains were violently reversed beginning in 2001, when what’s-his-name and the gang took over the country.

Now, the poor have some new friends, as “the gap also increased between the rich and the middle class.”

... the rest after the jump.

Monday, October 20, 2008


There's an irony that's seems to have gotten lost in the discussion.

Alaska is a state that has effectively "nationalized" the mineral rights within it's borders and a significant portion of the Alaskan state budget is based on the redistribution of money "liberated" from the rich (oil companies) and redistributed by way of annual checks, to the residents of Alaska - sort of like welfare for all in Alaska.

One of Governor Palin's claims to fame is "taking on" the oil companies. Her "victory" in "taking on" the oil companies was to increase the amount of money taken from the rich (oil companies) for redistribution of that wealth to the residents of Alaska.

The irony is that she calls Obama a "socialist".

Socialism is OK if you're a Republican?

Welcome to the People's Republic of Alaska, where every resident this year will get a $3,200 payout, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of Sarah Palin, the state's Republican governor. That's $22,400 for a family of seven, like Palin's. Since 1982, the Alaska Permanent Fund, which invests oil revenues from state lands, has paid out a dividend on invested oil loot to everyone who has been in the state for a year. But Palin upped the ante by joining with Democrats and some recalcitrant Republican state legislators to share in oil company windfall profits, further fattening state tax revenue and permitting an additional payout in tax funds to residents.

No wonder she is popular with voters in a state whose residents pay no income or sales taxes but are blessed with state coffers rolling in cash at a time when all other states are suffering. Indeed, when the oil companies pay more taxes to the state of Alaska, they get to write that off against their federal tax obligation, leaving the rest of us to make up the shortfall.

... more after the jump.

In case you were wondering ...

... where the McCain campaign got the outline for it's strategy

... or get the video after the jump.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

But he wouldn't we welcome at a McCain rally ...

from Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama on Meet The Press:

"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That's not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that he is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

"I feel particularly strong about this because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay, was of a mother at Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone, and it gave his awards - Purple Heart, Bronze Star - showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death, he was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the head stone, it didn't have a Christian cross. It didn't have a Star of David. It has a crescent and star of the Islamic faith.

"And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could serve his country and he gave his life."

Primum Non Nocere — The McCain Plan for Health Insecurity

from The New England Journal of Medicine
by David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P.

The most important questions raised by the health care proposals of the presidential candidates concern their values and judgment. These will guide a new president through the tortuous, unpredictable process of leading health care change. The specifics of candidates' proposals matter. But more important is what health plans communicate about a prospective president's fundamental beliefs and character.

By this standard, John McCain emerges not as a maverick or centrist but as a radical social conservative firmly in the grip of the ideology that animates the domestic policies of President George W. Bush. The central purpose of President Bush's health policy, and John McCain's, is to reduce the role of insurance and make Americans pay a larger part of their health care bills out of pocket. Their embrace of market forces, fierce antagonism toward government, and determination to force individuals to have more "skin in the game" are overriding — all other goals are subsidiary. Indeed, the Republican commitment to market-oriented reforms is so strong that, to attain their vision, Bush and McCain seem willing to take huge risks with the efficiency, equity, and stability of our health care system. Specifically, the McCain plan would profoundly threaten the current system of employer-sponsored insurance on which more than three fifths of Americans depend, increase reliance on unregulated individual insurance markets (which are notoriously inefficient), and leave the number of uninsured Americans virtually unchanged. A side effect of the McCain plan would be to threaten access to adequate insurance for millions of America's sickest citizens.

... the rest after the jump.

The article concludes:

The choice facing health care professionals, like all Americans, is basic: Who deserves to be trusted with the stewardship of America's health care system? The McCain proposal violates the bedrock principle that major health policy reforms should first do no harm. It would risk the viability of employer-sponsored insurance and the welfare of chronically ill Americans in pell-mell pursuit of a radical vision of consumer-driven health care. Senator McCain's plan does not demonstrate the kind of judgment needed in a potential commander in chief of our health care system.

(emphasis added)