Friday, October 31, 2008
Look, we've already talked about the supposed "Bradley effect," (white folks saying they'd vote for a black man but in the privacy of the booth changing their minds) but I'd like to see if we can introduce a new term that represents the "reverse Bradley." And, before you ask- yes, I did consider the "Yeldarb effect" but it's both too cutesy and too hard to say. Best, I suppose, if we just call it the "Obama effect."
Politico.com recently did a piece on this subject: racists (or, to put it more mildly, people who are "uncomfortable" around people of another race (in other words- racists)) who are so fed up with the economy, the war, the primate in the Oval Office and the false choice of supposed "change" being offered by the Republicans this year, that they are ready to overcome their discomfort over a black man leading the Dem ticket and might be willing to go ahead and vote for Obama.
From the article:
“What you see is it’s perfectly possible to hold a negative view of at least one aspect of African-Americans and yet simultaneously prefer Obama,” said Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Racial feelings are not as cut and dried — not as black and white — as people often say.”This isn't something that we should celebrate too much, I'm thinking. After all, it's hardly like the Democrats should be saying "Hey, all you racist folk! Come on in! It's a big tent and you're more than welcome!" Not quite.
But if you're willing to get over your prejudices in the name of your children's or your country's future? We would absolutely welcome your vote.
Here's my favorite quote from the article:
“If you go to a white neighborhood in the suburbs and ask them, ‘How would you feel about a large black man kicking your door in,’ they would say, ‘That doesn’t sound good to me,’” said Democratic political consultant Paul Begala. “But if you say, 'Your house is on fire, and the firefighter happens to be black,' it’s a different situation.”So let's be clear: the house is on fire. Who do you want in charge? Mr. Cool?
Or the guy with the gas can and the bimbo with the matches?
Don't get me wrong. I love voter accountability and all that. But seriously- can you imagine doing this for, say, doctors? Why the hell are the voters of Illinois making this decision? Isn't there, say, some kind of association of professionals who work with these judges on a daily basis who could properly evaluate whether or not we should keep these jurists in office?
Informed voting...it's the new pink!
Real Clear Politics: Obama 311, McCain 143. Tossups, 85. Not too shabby. Barack wins even if McCain wins ALL the tossup states. Cool.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
But one phrase, to me, was a head-scratcher. And it is: American exceptionalism. This is an expression that Sarah Palin likes to use a lot (perhaps to show that, unlike the Current Occupant, she can pronounce multi-syllabic words without sounding like she just learned them).
“American exceptionalism” (let’s call it “AE” because I’m tired of typing it out in full) is hardly a new phrase. Introduced, during the days of the Founding Fathers and elaborated upon by the great Alexis de Tocqueville, “AE” was originally used to define how great the American system of government was. How, by creating our magnificent democracy, we became that “shining city on a hill” before whom the entire world should stand in awe.
Pretty cool, huh? Kinda makes the heart swell with pride. Makes you want to say “Yeah! America IS great! Take that, Uganda! Our system of government, like totally rules! USA! USA!”. You might even paint something on your chest. That kind of thing.
Like all great phrases that are passed down through history only to pop out of the mouths of Republican candidates, however, this one has been perverted. When Sarah Palin refers to “AE,” she is not talking about our system of government. She is not referring to the Constitution or the three branches or the Bill of Rights.
See, Palin’s definition of “AE” is not simply that our system of government is “exceptional.” It is that we have been chosen by God to be that shining city on the hill. God, you see, reached down from the heavens, laid His mighty hand on our collective shoulder and said “Guys, you’re the greatest.” And because He said so, We Are.
But it doesn’t stop there. It isn’t merely that we have been tapped by the Lord God to be the Leaders of the Free World. Nope. It’s also that we are, ourselves, exceptional. That’s right! Each and every one of us! (It’s kind of like Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.)
Now, if you think that kind of thinking has a jingoistic, ethnocentric or xenophobic quality, that’s because you’ve been paying attention. And if you think that I’m reading far too much into the Governess’ thinking, try this- from Roger Cohen of the Times- on for size:
“Sarah Palin loves the word “exceptional.” At a rally in Nevada the other day, the Republican vice-presidential candidate said: “We are an exceptional nation.” Then she declared: “America is an exceptional country.” In case anyone missed that, she added: “You are all exceptional Americans.”
There’s one other thing that bugs me about this notion of “We’re better than everybody else” and it’s this: If you hold this notion and I dare to disagree with you- I’m trash-talking the country. If I see flaws (and there are flaws) in this government or in its actions over the years (i.e., the Iraq war, internment of Japanese Americans in WWII, the way we treated Native Americans), well then I obviously hate America.
Take it away, Sarah:
“Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." She also said, "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America."
I will not argue with the idea that America is an exceptional nation. I believe it is. The American Experiment is a work of genius. It is not perfect, but it’s the best idea anyone has come up with and put into practice.
But God didn’t do it. We did it. And while some of us are exceptional…some are not. We have some of the hardest working people in the world here in America- productive, moral, dedicated, loyal and brave.
And so does China. And Brazil. And Sweden. Deal with it.
So knock off the rhetorical stroking, Sarah. I’m not buying it. And in five days, you can pack up your road show and take it back to Alaska.
Kevin - Halloween is upon us, tomorrow, of course, and I want to encourage our folks here: if you happen to be renting some spooky vids this weekend, please stop by Shanghai Low's maggie sprocket film blog for a cursory rundown of some classic horror pictures you may or may not have seen. There is, also, a 007 retrospective, in anticipation of the opening of the new Daniel Craig picture. Please stop by and comment freely- many links, trailers, and film clips await. Click through the pics for a taste.
Also, folks, if you happen to be in the Chicago area over the holiday, Lifeline Theatre's critically-acclaimed production of Oscar Wilde's THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY has been extended to November 16th.
Our Own Kevin Theis - editor of this very blog - directed the skit, don't ya know. 'Nuff said.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
h/t to Rob K.
"After his appearance with Barack Obama tonight at a rally in Kissimmee, Florida, former president Bill Clinton plans to criss-cross the country on behalf of Obama in the closing days of the campaign."
"He has a sitting president in his party."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
(Cue dramatic music.)
What was I thinking when I called Sarah Palin a bitch? New rules:
I will stop calling George Bush a jackass when he stops calling me a terrorist: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.
Monday, October 27, 2008
"Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline."
"Some McCain aides say they had little choice with a candidate who simply wasn't ready for the national stage, and that Palin didn't forcefully object."
"Moments that Palin's allies see as triumphs of instinct and authenticity...they dismiss as Palin's "slips and miscommunications," that is, her own incompetence and evidence of the need for tight scripting. But Palin partisans say she chafed at the handling."
"Some aides say that she's a flawed candidate whose handling exaggerated her weak spots....[Another] said that Palin's inexperience led her to her own mistakes."
"If McCain loses, Palin's allies say that the national Republican Party hasn't seen the last of her...Palin would return to a state...where her image as a reformer who swept aside her own party's insiders rings true, if not in the cartoon version the McCain campaign presented. "There are people in this campaign who feel a real sense of loyalty to her and are really pleased with her performance and think she did a great job," said the McCain insider. "She has a real future in this party."
"Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting [Palin] one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time."
"In another major move on Sunday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorsed Obama, meaning three of the top five Texas dailies have switched from Bush in 2004 to Obama this year. The others are the dailies in Houston and Austin. That makes at least 33 papers nationwide that have switched from Bush to Obama."Boo-yah! Keep the good news a-comin'!
Does this shut Bill up? If you think so, you clearly don't know Bill. Check out these gems:
With McCain in a hole, Kristol says: "Time for McCain to attack — or, rather, finally to make his case."
"Palin could speak first, reprising her fine recent speeches on women’s issues and special needs kids — speeches that got almost no press coverage."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Ladies and gentlemen, let us pause our bewilderment and disgust at the McCain/Palin campaign (and I say this as a man who voted for McCain in the 2000 primaries), to revel in the truly despicable antics of Minnesota senator Norm Coleman's re-election campaign, being waged against former SNL writer Al Franken. Down in the polls for the first time, Senator Coleman has allowed the NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee) to mail this "comic book" to Minnesotan children:
I think we can all agree, anyone who uses tactics like this deserves to lose. Setting aside Mr. Franken's earlier profession (COMEDIAN!), and setting aside too the fact that Coleman just announced he's pulling down all negative ads, but is allowing the NRSC to mail this out for him - aside from all that, do you see the biting irony? This is the very sort of unbecoming behavior that is decried in this mailer! "A BAD EXAMPLE FOR OUR KIDS" and "COMPLETELY UNFIT FOR PUBLIC OFFICE" indeed!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Ah, Kevin - another day, another rack of Alaskan impropriety with Palin hoof prints all over it. This time, amid news that the Mayor of Moosejaw is going rogue over at Camp Country First, the AP has a comprehensive article detailing the deal her Administration struck on building that fabulous - yet nonexistent - natural gas pipeline up there, lauded in GOP song and story. This, after her very interesting shift in attitude for her Brian Williams interview (above).
So, I thought it was time to dash off a personal note to Our Sarah (the original was written in crayon so that her youngest daughter could read it to her):
Dear Winky -
I see where you're going with this "mean ol' Media/everybody's wrong about the facts" tactic, now, and I gotta say I'm not buyin' it. My apologies - I don't think I'm gonna be feelin' sorry for you anytime soon. In fact, I won't be letting up on the brickbats at all. Know why? 'Cause you're a liar. And worse: you believe your lies, in a sort of pathological way. Think I don't know you? You're dangerous.
You see, back home, with your considerable instinct, and good looks, and patronizing high school humor, you've winked your way into a pretty sweet deal: nice houses you charge the taxpayers for, paid friends, political power - such as it is - and free trips for the kiddies. All under the heading of "God's Will." Bully for you and Todd. Do I care? No, not really. I don't live there. Everyone I ever met from Alaska was either white trash, a full-blown nutbag, or hiding from something - oftentimes all three in one. I have, however, during this process, been impressed with your news people up there. They, unlike you, seem to have the good of common folk in mind. I'm sure many others do, too. You? You work for the betterment of the Sarah Palin - and that's it.
Now, fess up, baby - you didn't think twice when you got that first phone call from The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, did you? You agreed to take this ride right away, I know - many reports concur. You didn't think about it. You didn't need to think about it. You didn't really consider what it might be like, for you or your family. That 'cause it's All About Sarah, as opposed to Eve. By the way - have you seen that picture? I'll bet you have. But you assumed everyone - kindly World Media included - would fall for you and your game. That you'd just be able to lie through, or end run around any situation that required three-dimensional thought, with a wink and a smile and a "you betcha" - just as you've done your entire life. C'mon, Winky - five colleges in six years? Think I don't know you? How's your daughter doing after being outed to the world as knocked-up and unmarried for the sake of your career? Sleepin' good, is she? It'll get worse - trust me. Them press folk won't be goin' away anytime soon. And they love to burn them down some young ladies. Her soon-to-be husband - still a drop-out? Good thing you encouraged him to stay in school. Your commitment to the education of our young people is staggering.
But here's some Straight Talk for you: you lied to us when you first came into our consciousness, and you're still lying to us now. I gotta say, you scared the shit out of me when you hit the stage at St. Paul. Great speech. Unfortunately, you lied your way all the way through it: about your record, about earmarks, about being a reformer, about taxes, about your budgets, about how you left Wasilla in fiscal security, about the plane on e-bay, and about the Bridge to Nowhere. You also made fun of community organizers - as if you had ever done anything that remotely noble in your own life.
And then you hit the stump - and, man, are you great out there on that stump! Say what they will - no one can deny your effectiveness as a speaker, or as a magnetic personality that moves large audiences right to the naked emotional places that you need them to go - it's a fact. A really frightening one.
But the real fun started out there, huh? Your lies were being exposed by then, but you kept right on lying, didn't you? To the point where I wondered if you actually believed your version of events. In a kind of pathological way, you know? You lied about the Obama campaign sending a team of lawyers to Alaska, you lied about calling the librarian to see if you could ban books, and you lied about the Alaska Legislature investigation into Troopergate being partisan. You're not an energy expert, and you don't know a damn thing about the Russians - beyond, say, what you remember from Rocky and Bullwinkle. I know you.
Worse, still: you incited your white crowds to threats and the potential for violence - even after you knew it was dangerous to do so. You said it wasn't negative. That's a lie. You race-baited, called your opponents terrorists, anti-American, and - my favorite - Socialist. Check it out, honeybunch: up in Alaska, you run your government off oil company income. Then you apply for federal funding - with earmarks - which gives you a budget surplus. Then you take that surplus and pay it back to the citizens of Alaska in checks. Know what that is, Winky? Socialism. Feel free to look it up.
Then there was Katie Couric. Later, you lied about your frame of mind during the interviews. You lied about Couric, and you lied about that being gotcha journalism - "What do you read?" Please. Winky, you don't read. You sure as hell don't read The Economist. People who subscribe to The Economist don't read The Economist. You're lying. It's always someone else's fault isn't it? Think I don't know you? I know you.
The Troopergate report came out, and you announced that you were so relieved to be cleared of all wrongdoing, ethical or legal, by it. You're lying. It actually says quite the opposite. And, again, I wondered if this was something pathological. I mean, that lie is such an extraordinary whopper - I, like a lot of folks, printed the damn thing out, you know. We can read. And there were 10 Republicans on that panel - only 4 Democrats. Case in point: you correct people, and call it Tasergate. A more sympathy-evoking name, and, by the way, a Freudian admission that you were out solely to get Mr. Tasar fired, and ended up firing the guy who wouldn't fire Mr. Taser. And, though, having done nothing illegal, per se, you're guilty of an ethics violation. Think anyone cares? They do when you lie about it. You could've apologized to the people of Alaska - citing family turmoil - and moved on. But you don't ever do anything wrong, do you?
Then it's revealed that you got $178,000 worth of clothes, make-up, and personal grooming for you and your family. Did you try to refuse it like, maybe, a true reformer or fiscal conservative might? Nope. You took it, baby. And now you tell me you had no idea how much that stuff cost. That's a lie, 'cause, for one thing, ya gotta tailor stuff like that to get it fit well, Winky. And, unless you got a body double runnin' around, you were there when it was bought, and you were there when it was altered. You know how much it cost. You even got snippy backstage at SNL when they wouldn't let you wear your new stuff. Think I believe you when you say it was always going to be given to charity? Nope. Think I believe you when you say you and Todd are frugal? Nope. You and Todd are the Beverly Hillbillies, with your eyes on a prize, now and forever. Think I don't know you?
And now, your play is for sympathy. Now, it's your mean ol' handlers over at Camp Country First that botched your roll-out. Now, it's the dastardly Liberal Media that's gotten all the facts wrong about every story out there. Tell you what, Winky: regardless of how the election turns out, you're gonna be just fine. The way we reward liars and criminals in this country, I think, speaks for itself. If your side loses, first you'll get the book deal, then, maybe, the chat show - or become a pundit like Karl Rove. Speaking engagements, personal appearances - holy cow - you and Todd are set for life. Millions, baby. You may even be able to send your son-in-law through college - but I doubt you'd do that. You don't have the character.
Right now, though, you're running for the second most powerful office in the world. And if your side wins - and that old man becomes ill or, God forbid, passes - you'd be President of the United States, with the full power of the American Armed Forces and Nooculer Arsenal at your Pentecostal finger tips. And that's just too frightening for me to contemplate. I like to believe, given those events, that you would be stopped in some way - impeached by the Congress - but with the last eight years of unconstitutional horror under our belts, and no sign of criminal prosecution, or even hearty chastisement on the horizon, I wouldn't bet on it. My faith is gone, frankly, in the press - and in the current state of government - to accomplish anything that has the public good in mind.
You see, between you and I, I don't think people have any idea how bad things are going to get this coming year. French Revolution bad. Home foreclosure. Poverty. Violence, it's sad to say. A wholesale rethinking of our political philosophy. History tells us that could either be a time of great enlightenment, or a fast slide down the right-wing well into something even more ugly than we have now. So, the people we need in government are going to have to be our best and brightest. Our most brilliant - people we trust. Or, at least as far as one can trust any politician, I suppose. Not the ones like you - popular religious right-wing liars - who would be most likely to, say, put illegal immigrants in internment camps, for example.
Think that's too far? Perhaps. Am I just another paranoid Liberal running around with his head on fire, screaming Fascist? Maybe so - but there is that pesky Global Economic Meltdown going on, and we know from history, small reactionary political movements have a way of catching on in times of dire economy. Case in point, let's check out how ugly things got on the stump in Iowa, yesterday:
And just so we've got that straight, here's the partial transcript:
"See, under a big government, more tax agenda, what you thought was yours would really start belonging to somebody else, to everybody else. If you thought your income, your property, your inventory, your investments were, were yours, they would really collectively belong to everybody. Obama, Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes, and I say this based on his record... Higher taxes, more government, misusing the power to tax leads to government moving into the role of some believing that government then has to take care of us. And government kind of moving into the role as the other half of our family, making decisions for us. Now, they do this in other countries where the people are not free. Let us fight for what is right. John McCain and I, we will put our trust in you."
Wow. Huffington Post is calling you "unhinged" today because of this little speech, Sam Stein labels it your "Communist Nightmare Scenario." Haven't seen it on anyone else's radar, this morning, though, so far. Hopefully, if you keep it up, they'll notice. I'm praying they do. I'm spreading it far and wide, myself, I know.
But congratulations, Winky - with this performance, you've been upgraded to something we haven't seen in this country in quite some time. Something really, really dangerous. Did you catch that member of your audience - about 38 seconds in - screaming "He's a nigger!"? I did.
So, yeah, maybe I'm just being a paranoid wienie, but, hell, I didn't think America would ever commit a preemptive military strike on another country, either - but we did. I didn't think we would ever have an Attorney General who deemed the Geneva War Convention Dictates, "quaint and outdated" - but we did. I didn't think this nation would ever torture people, or run secret foreign prisons. But we did - and are still doing so. I didn't think - after Nixon - that there would be official initiatives run through the White House whose sole mechanism was to steal elections for the incumbent political party, an eye on dynasty. But there they were.
Even today, GOP lawyers are filing lawsuits to have voter rolls purged in many states. Thank God the Obama campaign anticipated that, and has lawyers in the field all over the place, too, 'cause no one else seems to be doing anything about it. The Justice Department certainly isn't. Nor our Free Press. They report Republican election fraud from years past as blithe matters of course - bland traditions - not couched in terms of outrage. We've gotten so used to it, you see?
Look - we just don't need you. We have to step back, now, as a nation, and consider - really weigh and consider - our future direction, with imagination and real sociopolitical solutions, helpful to all of our people - not just the ones that are acceptable to you. We need to come together and ask Americans to work harder, and be more cooperative and patient, than they've been asked to be in two generations.
Rose colored? Sure. Why not? The thing is, Winky, in that scenario - and it's a crucial one for our survival - I know I'd get a better shake from Obama and the Democrats than from your proven pack of Republican thugs. And you, too, certainly. "Rogue" and "unhinged" are not the qualities I would immediately recommend as leadership staples during a Global Economic Meltdown. You come at me, all winky and smiley, and charismatic as hell, with all those lies - a flag in one hand, and a cross in the other, as Mr. Sinclair said: a hollow shell of self-consumed opportunism and race-baiting division. The poster child for anti-intellectual elitism and hate-based reactionary political thought. You're a slippery slope to calamity, my girl. And I so desperately need my country to be safe.
Safety, however, is not an option with you. As of yesterday, I've even come to believe that no behavior, criminal or otherwise, is beyond your level of pious justification. Bush? Yeah, I think so, actually. He's put the brakes on a couple of times, despite his well-earned track record. McCain? Certainly. At the end of the day, that old man knows right from wrong. But you? Absolutely not. Given actual power, you would justify whatever atrocity available, by any means necessary, without losing five minutes of sleep.
Sorry 'bout that. I'll buy your book - watch your show - but don't ask me to play your sympathy game. It's far too dangerous. I know you, like I said. And I'll keep right on writing about you, and encourage anyone else I meet to do the same.
'Cause you see, Winky, as an American, you're everything I'm supposed to hate.
Up at KAKM, Public Television in Anchorage, Alaska, they are in the midst of debates for their upcoming State House Representatives elections, led by host Michael Carey - who, on reading a few of his columns, seems a sane, forthright news fellow.
It's a good thing Carey is, too, as he would need all that intestinal fortitude not to break into uncontrolled giggles over the dulcet stylings of Daniel "Missle Gap" DeNardo from the Alaska Independence Party - First Dude Todd Palin, Alumni.
As you see, Daniel has charts. Very helpful.
"The latest high-profile desertions include Scott McClellan, George Bush's former press secretary, who endorses Obama in a taped CNN programme to be broadcast this weekend, and William Weld, the Republican governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997...Last weekend, Bush's former secretary of state, Colin Powell, Obama's biggest Republican catch so far, publicly backed the Democratic candidate."
Now, McCain has called this presuptuous, has accused Obama of "measuring the drapes in the Oval Office" before he's been elected. Part of me says, yeah, it's true, the election hasn't happened. Cart before the horse and all. But then I reflexively ask, "Tell me, John - why aren't you picking out a cabinet? Why aren't you vetting 700 people? If you're elected, you'll need to fill all those posts. Do you even have a plan past November 4th?"
I was just discussing this with my father, the wisest man I know (and I don't say that lightly). After talking it over, we let the topic drop. But a few minutes later he said to me, "David, I just figured it out. He doesn't have to vet anyone - they're all already in the jobs they're going to hold."
It's the most rational answer to the question of "why isn't McCain preparing to be president?" But, fair minded person that I am, I come to one of two possible, logical conclusions:
1 - McCain has no plan, no forethought, no drive beyond wanting to be elected president. He has no intention of actually governing.
2 - McCain has a plan, and that plan is, with a few high-profile exceptions, to leave all the Bush people in the posts they already hold. Cause hell, if it ain't broke...
Either way, folks, this is probably the most damning evidence that McCain = Bush.
Science blogs all over the net are lighting up like Christmas trees this morning as Serial Breeder and Congenital Idiot, Governor Sarah Palin, stood up on her hind legs, yesterday, and gave her first Policy Speech. Hoo-rah. Can't wait.
The subject was full federal funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Her focus is Special Needs Children - research and support - admittedly, a worthy cause - and one, of course, she would, and should, be interested in, having an infant with Down Syndrome. An infant that she can't seem to stop herself from hauling in front of every news camera available in her pathetic need for "I'm a Victim of the Media" identification and sympathy. I'm personally thinking we need a Free Trig Initiative, attached to IDEA, considering the way the poor little guy gets trundled out for a photo-op by his horror of a mother.
Anyway, where - since we have cash aplenty these days - does the Palin Special Olympics think this funding will come from? Why, from that insidious Senatorial Earmark Spending, her running mate, Dr. Strangelove, is always screaming about.
Now, setting aside the fact that the money she's talking about has already been budgeted elsewhere in the searingly thought-provoking McCain Economic Plan, and overlooking all of the votes that the Old Maverick, himself, has cast on the Senate floor against the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - lets just come right out and agree that this is a worthy priority, and that she might even have a shot at funding it that way.
It is certainly doubtful that she would get any argument from the McCain Brain Trust, since, according to the now-legendary New York Times Magazine article, just released online, they, and their Fearless Leader, had no qualms about taking the fast-track "Nice tits!" approach to choosing their Vice-Presidential candidate - why would they deny her anything? With those boys around, Palin would have little difficulty in pulling the initiative off.
Fair enough. So, what are some of the features of this program? I'll give you one: autism research.
Specifically: "For many parents of children with disabilities, the most valuable thing of all is information. Early identification of a cognitive or other disorder, especially autism, can make a life-changing difference."
Which, frankly, surprises me, since so many of Palin's new-found right wing pals like Dennis Leary and Radio Fascist Michael Savage feel that autism is a condition that can be easily corrected by slapping some good manners into an afflicted child. But I can understand that: they're very rich, and they damn well want to stay that way - they don't have children with autism - and if they can keep their tax rate down by convincing the Mouth Breathers in this country it's a swell idea to keep voting against all those Socialist New Deal programs designed to help working folks, for the promise of striking it rich just like them - then why would they want tax money going for Education or Science, an' such, as well? My God - they'd lose their base audience.
But back to Palin's news conference. Again - how would this get paid for? By getting rid of all that pesky earmarkin', like I said. Got any outstanding examples of that, Miss Wasilla? You betcha:
"You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not."
Now, just out of curiosity, class - how many of you know why the scientific study of fruit flies, in general, would warrant federal funding? Anyone? That's alright - I know Dancin' With The Stars is on. I'll tell you: among other things relating to genetics, it is essential for our understanding of a protein called neurexin, also found in human form. What does neurexin do? It's required for nerve cell connections to form and function correctly. Here's a little Straight Talk from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
"The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism."
At this point, I'll let P. Z. Myer, a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris take over:
"I am appalled. This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? — and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.
Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage (something else the wackaloon from Wasilla denies), and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system — precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.
This is where the Republican party has ended up: supporting an ignorant buffoon who believes in the End Times and speaking in tongues while deriding some of the best and most successful strategies for scientific research. In this next election, we've got to choose between the 21st century rationalism and Dark Age inanity. It ought to be an easy choice."
I think that's all pretty clear, don't you? Chalk up another outstanding research/vetting job by Wunderkind Steve Schmidt and the Oil Lobbyists over there at Camp Country First - the folks whose talking points include ignoring the causes of global warming as a means of eradicating it.
Has it ever occurred to any of these GOP Creation-Only Brainiacs, that, after decades of Republican Congressional rule, had more legislative funding gone to medical research, as opposed, to say Abstinence Programs or Faith-Based Initiatives, families like Palin's might've been spared a child with disabilities? Or had not religious bigots like Michelle Bachmann been so convinced that stem-cell research was some form of murder in the eyes of their self-consumed image of God, that even now, they could be gleaning the sage counsel of, say, Ronald Reagan, as their Sainted Party implodes in scandal, misjudgement, and embarrassment? Doubtful - as that would require actual thought.
It is little wonder, though, that Palin is interested in scientific research - at least as she sees it. Beyond what basic misunderstanding she might have about the mechanics of birth control - or her inability to impart the hazards of same to her offspring - her entire experience in public service has one up on that most famous of experimental mammals: Pavlov's Dog.
In his case, through careful conditioning, you could ring a bell, and ol' Rex, anticipating a meal, would start to salivate. But if you wave a microphone near Palin's pie hole, not only will she lie like Pinocchio, but she'll say something dangerously stupid, as well. Every time.
But, boy, Dr. Strangelove - do her tits look great in that suit!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Ms. Brawley, a 15-year-old girl, went missing in November of 1987 in upstate New York. When she finally turned up, she had quite a story to tell. According to her, she had been assaulted by six white men, including, astonishingly, a few cops. It was, needless to say, a huge story. Incendiary. Inflammatory. (Which is the same thing.) Explosive. (Which is really similar.) Plus rabble-rousing! Really. There was rabble. And they were roused.
Simply put, it was a bit upsetting. And it became even more upsetting when it turned out (and I'm sure you're way ahead of me here) not to be true. I'd go into the whole thing, but it's a mess. If you're really want to know about it, it's all here.
Why bring this up? If you've been paying attention to the news, you already know, but let's just keep going as if you don't, okay?
It appears, I'm sorry to inform you if you haven't heard, that a young woman (who happens to work for the McCain campaign) was attacked by a black man in Pittsburgh because she had a McCain bumper sticker on her car. He, you won't be surprised to hear, was an Obama supporter and he treated the young lady quite poorly. He sexually assaulted her, beat her up and cut a large "B" on her face, presumably for "Barack."
And it is a horrible story. Horrible. And, of course, it's all a lie.
The best part of this story- and yes, there is a "best" part, despite the sordidness of the whole flippin' thing, lies in the FOX news report by John Moody, their Executive Vice President. What did Mr. Big Brain have to say? I won't be greedy. I'll share:
"If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists...but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee."Really, fuck-face? Let's suppose, for a moment, that this bullshit story was true. Suppose a violent black man, with no connection whatsoever to the Obama campaign, had attacked and mutilated this poor woman. This would mean that voters would, understandably, have suddenly felt they don't know enough about the Democratic nominee? Quick question: How? Really and truly, HOW?
But he's not done. He's got one last shot to get in. He says:
"If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."
So. Now we know it's a hoax. Thus, QED (at least according to Mr. Moody) it is now okay for us to say:
"Congratulations, Barack. The election, according to FOX news, is officially over."
You disagree? Don't talk to me. Talk to FOX. I just report.
1 - Why is everyone with the first name of Tucker a Republican shill/hack/talking head? Tucker Bounds, Tucker Carlson, Tucker Eskew, etc. I knew a John Tucker, and he was far from a jerk. Is there a spatial relationship to the name (first v. last) that makes a man want to hurt America?
2 (and this is what got me) - Bounds invoked "real Americans" again. I know, I know, it's everywhere - McCain, Palin, that idiot congresswoman Bachmann, Romney, Pfotenhauer, et al. But Bounds was my snapping point. Don't know why, but he's the one. Maybe because he says it so calmly - he's very good at what he does.
Now, I'm hardly the first to lose my temper over this. I've been admiring Jon Stewart's restrained rage all week at this narrative. But today I've had enough.
Fortunately, I've got a little news for Mr. Bounds, something he hates to hear. Know what, Tuck? While you're busy courting your "real Americans," us fake Americans get to vote too.
Read this sad-ass article from truthout, wherein McCain's own people talk about fleeing his sinking ship like...well, I think we all know what flees a sinking ship. It almost makes you feel bad for the guy. Almost.
"If you really want to see what 'going negative' is in politics, just watch the back-stabbing and blame game that we're starting to see," said Mark McKinnon, the ad man who left the campaign after McCain wrapped up the GOP primary. "And there's one common theme: Everyone who wasn't part of the campaign could have done better."
"The cake is baked," agreed a former McCain strategist. "We're entering the finger-pointing and positioning-for-history part of the campaign. It's every man for himself now."
In this morning's Tribune, Palin tells us we don't have "the facts" as far as the 150K wardrobe scandal goes - "That's not who we are" - and she also identifies herself as a victim of the same "double standard" that beset Hillary Clinton.
Barack Obama leaves today to fly to Hawaii to visit his ailing grandmother, putting off campaigning for a couple of days so he can journey back and see the woman- who gave so much to him- before she dies. Why would he choose this weekend? Well...it happens to be her birthday on Sunday and (though Barack will leave Saturday) maybe he thought it would be nice to be there close to her big day.
It is a testament to the man's grateful nature that he is walking away from his Presidential campaign- right in the thick of things- to fly all that way just to see her. It is noble. Compassionate. It is something for which he should be commended.
Unless, of course, your job is to go on the radio and talk smack about the Democratic nominee.
So how, you may ask, can a right-wing radio dirtbag spin this story to make Barack look bad? How is it even possible to take a story about visiting your ailing grandmother and make Obama look sinister, mischievious and underhanded? If you're saying to yourself "That isn't possible!" then you obviously don't know just how evil these cocksuckers are.
Here's how they're playing it: Barack is NOT, in fact, going to Hawaii to visit his grandmother. He is going- ready?- to destroy or alter the Hawaiian birth records that would show that he is not qualified to be President.