Archive for September, 2008

Politics getting clearer as policy gets cloudier

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

I’m thinking we now have an answer to my earlier question about what the GOP and McCain were up to last week.

When a deal that he had nothing to do with crafting was imminent, McCain had no choice but to claim he was suspending his campaign (without actually suspending anything except an appearance on Letterman, of course) and rush to Washington to take credit for Getting Important Stuff Done For America. Now that his own party has killed that deal after claiming they’d vote for it, McCain’s campaign is back into overdrive, blaming everyone and everything for failing to do…something.

While I’d like to credit Pelosi with a brilliant bit of political ju-jitsu yesterday, I think the GOP just outsmarted and out-politicked themselves, inadvertently handing the Democrats a huge stick to beat them with. The House Republicans clearly wanted the bill to pass without their support so they could go back home and run against it. Just enough Democrats hated the bill to not let that happen, so now the GOP is stuck looking obstructionist and like they’re cravenly politicizing a national crisis (which, of course, they are), leaving both their President and their presidential candidate holding the bag. Heckuva job, Boehner.

And the kicker is now there’s a chance the Democrats will throw the House Republicans overboard and craft a bill substantially better than the Bush/Paulson plan and push it through along party lines. Not holding my breath waiting for this amount of wisdom and foresight from the Democratic Congresscritters, though, unfortunately. We’ll probably still get a horrible bi-partisan bill that screws the country and both parties.


My post-debate ramblings

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

In addition to what all the other, better, political bloggers have already said last night and today, here’s my important take-aways from last night:

Some of Obama’s base seem disappointed that he didn’t eviscerate McCain last night. He didn’t need to; this wasn’t about those of us who are already on his side, it’s about swaying those who aren’t, and on that score he seems to have hit a home run. James Fallows explains how and why here.

The internals of the CBS poll of undecideds, if remotely correct, shows Obama was hugely successful and really helped himself among the people he needs. As quoted by the amazingly useful

“Obama went from a +18 on “understanding your needs and problems” before the debate to a +56 (!) afterward. And he went from a -9 on “prepared to be president” to a +21.”

If this is correct, last night was a huge win for the Good Guys.

McCain did better than I expected last night, and didn’t come across nearly as poorly as he usually does in big public appearances. He didn’t have anything new to say or offer, though, and recycling old “most liberal senator who wants us to lose in Iraq while spending gajillions of dollars on turning America socialist at home” attacks just seemed weak.

It’s also clear why he prefers craps for his gambling binges — he’d get his ass kicked at poker. McCain can’t lie to save his life; his blink rate goes through the roof every time he tries, and his jaw clenches like a pair of vice grips every time someone annoys him. The talking heads also nailed his refusal to make eye contact with Obama.

The polls the next few days should be very interesting to watch.

Then there’s next Thursday, when Joe “who knows what I’ll say next” Biden gets to spend 90 minutes with Caribou Barbie, which could be one for the ages.


A Post Debate Comment

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

I don’t have anything pity or particularly deep to say about the debate, though I think Obama did well and the undecided voters (at this point the ones he needs most) tend to agree.

But I did want to share a comment from one of the contributers at Dkos.

It came when Senator McCain was stumbling with Ahmadinejad’s name. He was stumbling hard, almost unable to get the name or any semblance of it pronounced. Very quietly, but audibly Senator Obama can be heard saying something. In the first viewing, I knew he had said something there, but was unable to decipher exactly what he had said. In listening to the replay it’s easy to hear his comment.

He quietly acknowledged to Senator McCain “That’s a tough one.” When I heard his remark, his gracious nod to the Senator’s struggle to pronounce a very difficult name, his compassion for the man, I choked up. It humbled me. It made me briefly look inward, and feel lesser for originally maybe hoping that it was some cutting barb. And it showed him as a man greater than politics, greater for inspiring empathy and compassion for a fellow man.

Damn! Just damn!




“Game on, boyfriend”

Friday, September 26th, 2008

It’s on after all. Time to stock up on booze and objects to throw at the TV tonight.

No serious stuff this morning — plenty of time for that tonight or tomorrow after Obama kicks McCain’s ass.

While looking for this clip:

…I came across this one that’s even better. Damn, I miss the West Wing.


24 hours later, and it gets WTFier

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

So, around lunch time members of Congress from both parties announce they’ve reached agreement in principle on their Great Wall Street Giveaway. Now at dinner time there’s no deal due apparently to McCain and some hard-right Republicans showing up at the White House meeting and saying “no deal,” but without proposing any alternative.

Is this really all so McCain and Palin can have a lame excuse to duck out of a couple debates they’re not prepared for? There’s got to be more to it than this, right? What’s their game at this point?


From the WTF file

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

McCain feels the need to suspend his campaign (whatever that means), cancel debates, and rush back to Washington to do…what, exactly?

By all accounts Congress has pretty much hammered out the details of the mega-bailout and Treasury has agreed to their terms. What’s left for a guy who hasn’t done squat in the Senate for the last 2 years to do? Show up and try and take credit for others’ work in a vain attempt to stop his slide in the polls?

Some fun perspective from past elections from Eric Rauchway:

  • September 24, 1864: The nation is literally at risk of collapse, engaged in a large-scale civil war: “Yet the campaign for the presidency was “now being prosecuted with the utmost vigor,” as one could read in the New York Times.”
  • September 24, 1932: The nation is mired in Depression, coping with it a full time job, “Yet Herbert Hoover prepared to give a large speech in Iowa and Franklin Roosevelt had just given what became a famous address to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.”
  • September 24, 1944: World War II well under way, with the United States engaged in fierce fighting, “Yet President Roosevelt had just officially launched his campaign for a fourth term, while Thomas Dewey took his turn speaking in San Francisco, challenging Roosevelt’s supremacy.”

Stolen from Daily Kos

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

The elitist label that the McCain campaign has been trying to hang on Obama has been driving me nuts. So I thought I’d share this wonderful comparison I found on Daily Kos (original source not noted) that both made me laugh and cheer.

Who's the Elitist?

Blessings all,



As my love pointed out, it’s Consitution Day but…

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

…another document seems more appropos this election season:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.


Happy Constitution Day

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Celebrate now while you still have the chance!

And in case you think I’m really off-track with my previous post saying America is off-track:

The US used to be an example of democracy and the rule of law as guiding principles to other countries – so much so that our legal scholarship was followed and cited in other countries’ court rulings. Now? Not so much. Note when the decline begins. Chalk that reputation up as another casualty of the Bush administration and the increasingly reactionary SCOTUS.




We the People…

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure  domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. -Preamble to the Constitution of the Unites States

Sometimes I find it hard to express myself on the subject of this election without sounding like a whacked out conspiracy-minded leftie loon. I will make an attempt anyway. Don’t read farther if you don’t want to be subject to my liberal ramblings.

That phrase up there? That is the ideal that this country stands for to me. That is the path we are supposed to be on. This is what we have striven for, in fits and starts, for over 250 years. That ideal is what made the US great. It is why my grandfather came here. Why my father came here. And why he served this country for 20 years in the USAF.

But in my lifetime, our country has not been so far away from that ideal as it has been these last 7+ years. And I do not think it is hyperbole to say that nothing less than the life of that ideal is on the line come November 4th.

For we are far off the path to that ideal.

The current administration has condoned torture and the indefinite detention of terrorist suspects on the flimsiest of legal cover. They have destroyed the institutions designed to look out for our health and safety, the environment and our infrastructure. They led us into a  needless and useless war (and too many other citations for one blog entry!) while ignoring the real perpetrators and the underlying causes of a major crime against the people of the United States of America. They have taken hatchets to science, especially the science of women’s health, and called it morality. They have even gagged NASA for crying out loud. They have cheated, lied to, stolen from, tortured and spied on us for nearly 8 very long years. And I very much believe that McCain represents a continuation of that same behavior, however much he tries to run away from Bush.

I cannot stand the thought of watching our great nation let it happen again.

I passionately believe Obama represents a way forward, a way to right the ship of state and strive again for that ideal. You may very well disagree with many of his policies, but he is a man of integrity who has studied and cherished the Constitution on which this nation is based. I believe an Obama administration could very well put us back on the right track again.

If you feel the same way, too, please do all that you can to help. Donate. Volunteer. Register to vote.

If you are in a swing state, especially Ohio, especially if you are a Democrat in an urban or minority neighborhood, apply for an absentee ballot and MAKE SURE YOUR ADDRESS IS CORRECT! There are already fears of voter caging and other voting manipulations.

Comments are welcome but any with insults, threats, fear-mongering and other bad behavior will be immediately cut with malice aforethought.