Sunday, December 28, 2008

Frank Rich is Upset at Obama’s Pick of Warren

It’s an honor to be chosen to deliver the invocation at a president’s inauguration. And this morning in his New York Times Op/Ed column, Frank Rich sees in Obama’s choice of The Reverend Rick Warren, a foreshadowing that Obama may have his own inclination to spend earned capital (as in, George W. Bush’s famous declaration that he had earned capital in his campaign and he intended to spend it). Rich is not sanguine about this omen and he is not sanguine about the Rev. Warren. Well, first, Frank, Barack Obama is going to hit some false notes since he is a mortal like the rest of us, so chill out, for God’s sake. It’s early in the game. And it’s true, The Rev. Warren is surely a lightning rod for everyone in the gay community who is looking to be offended. The man has been offensive to gays to a fare-thee-well. But second, I cannot think of a single person in the God-business that I personally would want to be God’s stand-in at Obama’s inauguration. All ordained persons are suspect. Maybe the Dalai Lama. The thing is, all God-biz guys have an agenda. And they are all going to be offensive if you just take the time to look under the hood. Any person who has decided to make a career out of explaining God to the rest of us is a bigot. Rich quotes gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson who said: “I’m all for Rick Warren being at the table but we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most-watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.” Okay, now I’m offended. I would like to point out to all God-biz persons that the God we all pray to is One Unchanging Unknowable All-Knowing God. It’s the men and women of the cloth who have differing issues, agendas and talking points. And if Bishop Robinson thinks he knows God, he’s delusional as well as bigoted. But, that said, I also think that anyone standing before the world, and being watched by the world who asks that God bless this nation and the world is doing a good deed. And the moment that Reverend Warren invokes God’s blessing, we all should offer our own prayer and say AMEN!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shawn Campbell’s Post on Twitter a Winner

Campbell said, “The White House has neither confirmed nor denied the President's plan for joining the Zappos Dodgeball team.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! And apparently, the popular online shoe store really has one. The news from Baghdad just gets better and funnier. The New York Times reported this morning: “Calling someone the ‘son of a shoe’ is one of the worst insults in Iraq. But the lowly shoe and the Iraqi who threw both of his at President Bush, with widely admired aim, were embraced around the Arab world on Monday as symbols of rage at a still unpopular war. In Saudi Arabia, a newspaper reported that a man had offered $10 million to buy just one of what has almost certainly become the world’s most famous pair of black dress shoes. A daughter of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, reportedly awarded the shoe thrower, Muntader al-Zaidi, a 29-year-old journalist, a medal of courage. In the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, people calling for an immediate American withdrawal removed their footwear and placed the shoes and sandals at the end of long poles, waving them high in the air. And in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, people threw their shoes at a passing American convoy.” Later in the article, the NYT said, “In Syria, Mr. Zaidi’s picture was shown all day on state television, with Syrians calling in to share their admiration for his gesture and his bravery. In central Damascus, a huge banner hung over a street, reading, ‘Oh, heroic journalist, thank you so much for what you have done.' ‘It’s the talk of the city,’ said Ibrahim Mousawi, a Beirut journalist and political analyst affiliated with Hezbollah. ‘Everyone is proud of this man, and they’re saying he did it in our name.’” Well done, George. Finally, in the last days of his term as President of the United States, George W. Bush has unified the Middle East.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Will the Prez Get the Message in Iraq?

President Bush has said he doesn’t read newspapers. So he probably didn’t read Frank Rich’s scathing account in the New York Times yesterday of his eight years in office. But can he fail to get the message sent yesterday by an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at him? Bush’s trip to Baghdad was called “a valedictory visit” today in the NYT. As in, a fare-thee-well and god-bless excursion to the country he forced an unnecessary war on, a country which will equate his name with “failure” and “war monger” in future history books. But never mind those details, Bush went to Iraq to sanctify the recently-adopted security agreement between the United States and Iraq which includes a commitment to withdraw all American forces by the end of 2011. In his delusional state, Bush may have made his trip believing that finally he would be gifted with the flowers and candy that Dick Cheney predicted would greet the US invaders back in 2003. Instead, a shoe narrowly missed hitting him in the head. Of course the Iraqi journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at Bush was wrestled to the ground and beaten until he cried for mercy. But not before shouting in Arabic with the first shoe, “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” And, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!” with the second shoe. Will George W. Bush now get the message? No. Of course not. His insanity shields him from understanding the enormity of his culpability in the failed Iraq war or in America’s downward spiral. So, he made a joke about the shoes incident. He said, “All I can report is it is a size 10.” He then said, as the man’s screaming could be heard outside, “That’s what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves.” And Bush went on to say that his war strategy known as “the surge” was “one of the greatest successes in the history of the United States military.” In closing, President Bush said about the war, “There is still more work to be done, but with this security agreement, the courage of the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi troops and the American troops and civilian personnel, it is decisively on its way to be won.” Perhaps after January 20th, George W. Bush and Sarah Palin will form a comedy duo to tour Iraq to bring glad tidings and laughter to all the grateful people in Iraq’s free society where they can draw attention to themselves.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Repubs Thumb Their Nose at Auto Makers

Let them eat cake Republican Senators said last night and voted down the auto bailout. And although the little guys in Detroit and the car company suppliers don’t deserve to suffer, it’s difficult to have sympathy for an industry that has shot itself in the foot the way the three big auto companies have done. The Big Three—General Motors, Ford and Chrysler—can’t pay their suppliers happens every year. Which means the suppliers, in effect, are forced to lend the big guys money to get through the crisis. But this time the banks are not willing to lend the suppliers money; hence the day of reckoning has arrived. One sits back and looks at this dilemma and wonders why The Big Three has chosen to pay their execs billions of dollars in salary, freebies and bonuses instead of paying their suppliers. And the answer is, because they wanted the money themselves and saw no reason why they should pay their bills when they could get away with not paying their bills. And that should surprise no one. Since that’s the way people with money operate. The little guy has always had to offer discounts to the rich to get them to pay up. And even so, the little guy inevitably has to wait 90 days or more to get his money. Of course an auto industry collapse would bite everyone in the ass. But still, it’s been a long time coming and it was inevitable. But as an aside, I must say that every time Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stands up in the Senate and says anything, it irritates me. Yesterday, he said, “This is going to be a very, very bad Christmas for a lot of people as a result of what takes place here tonight.” Sentimental nonsense! The war in Iraq has made bad Christmases for the past five years. The Bush administration policies have made bad Christmases for the past eight years. Wall Street excesses and failures have made bad Christmases as long as one can remember. All US Presidents and every leader in the world have made bad Christmases. So don’t whine with that bad Christmas crap from the floor of the United States Senate, Harry, because you know what? Christmas has been officially recognized in America only since 1836 when Alabama made it a holiday. Oklahoma was the last state to recognize Christmas in 1907. And the first people to settle in these United States didn’t like the idea of celebrating Christ’s birth at all because it was “papist”. And another thing, Harry, you know as well as I do that a bailout for the auto industry in some form or another will be figured out by the US government within the next 30 days. That's just the way of things. And another ‘nother thing, it wouldn’t hurt a single Christian to cut back on Christmas buying and just go to church. That’s all I’m saying.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Feds Say JJ,Jr. is Blaggo’s Candidate 5

By me, it fits like a glove. The Feds say Jesse Jackson, Jr. is “ambitious”. There’s an understatement for you. I say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. There is not much that The Reverend JJ, Sr. has not been willing to do to throw himself into the limelight. In 1968, JJ, Sr. appeared on the Today Show wearing the blood-stained shirt he wore the day before when he claimed to have been with Martin Luther King when King was shot. There are those who dispute Jackson’s time line. Whether it’s true or not, his Today Show appearance is typical of JJ, Sr’s lifelong modus operandi. His son, Jesse Jackson, Jr. is a powerhouse in Chicago. But he’s not a strong contender politically in the state of Illinois. Evenso, JJ, Jr. is enough of a big noise in Chicago that when Barack Obama was thinking about running for the Illinois Senate, he went to JJ, Jr. and asked if he had eyes on the seat. Jackson said he did not, and he gave Obama his blessing. The New York Times reports this morning that Jackson changed his mind and now wants to claim Obama’s Senate seat. The NYT quoted Al Kindle, a South Side Chicago political consultant who said: “Jesse has wanted to be Obama’s heir apparent ever since Obama won the Senate seat.” Kindle helped Obama in the 2004 race. He added that since then, JJ, Jr. “has tried to reposition himself to appeal to a broader audience.” The NYT said, “Specifically, federal authorities said, Mr. Jackson is ‘Senate Candidate 5,’ associates of whom, the governor said in a wire-tapped conversation, were willing to raise money for Mr. Blagojevich in exchange for the seat.” Jesse Jackson, Jr. said “I did not initiate or authorize anyone at any time to promise anything to Governor Blagojevich on my behalf. I never sent a message or an emissary to the governor to make an offer, to plead my case or to propose a deal about a U.S. Senate seat, period.” That’s probably true. He wouldn’t have to be that overt. Everyone in Chicago knew JJ, Jr. wanted to replace Obama. It is also true that I am biased against The Reverend Jesse Jackson. I don’t like his methods or his manner and I am very ready to assume the worst about his son. The Blaggo tapes don’t look good for Jackson, Jr. The NYT said, “Of those alluded to, the affidavit’s implications seemed especially troubling for Mr. Jackson, or Senate Candidate Five. According to the document, Mr. Blagojevich told advisers last Thursday that he was giving Mr. Jackson “greater consideration” to replace Mr. Obama because Mr. Jackson would raise money for him, “upfront, maybe.” Yup, I believe it. By my observation, it’s the way the Jacksons do things.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Every Comic in the World Thanks You, Blaggo

Illinois governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s lawyer told reporters that the governor was "very surprised and certainly feels that he did not do anything wrong." Well, there you have it. That’s the main problem. Even after Blaggo was taped by federal agents saying, (re trying to sell Barack Obama’s Illinois senate seat to the highest bidder), “I’ve got this thing and it’s [expletive] golden. And I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I’m not going to do it. And I can always use it. I can parachute me there”, no doubt the Gov truly thinks he did nothing wrong. Not unlike George W. Bush who believes his only wrongdoing over the past eight years may possibly be that he was unprepared for the war in Iraq, which he promoted, defended and started. Under state law, the Illinois governor has to name a replacement for Senator Obama who resigned his lllinois senate seat with two years remaining in his term. But as United States attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said (yeah, the guy who prosecuted Scooter Libby), “the (Blagojevich) conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.” Blaggo’s predecessor, Governor George Ryan was also indicted for corruption. Last month Blaggo said he believed President Bush should commute Ryan’s sentence of 6-1/2 years. “It would be a ‘fine decision’, Blaggo said. And lest we forget, Jack Ryan (no relation to George Ryan) had to quit his run against Obama four years ago because of a sex scandal. “I don’t believe there’s any cloud that hangs over me,” Blagojevich told reporters recently, “I think there’s nothing but sunshine hanging over me.” Right. And it surely is his kind of town, Chicago is. His kind of razzmatazz, and it has, all that jazz.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Shinseki Pick, A Thumb in Rumsfeld’s Eye

Obama’s choice of 38-year-career-Army man General (ret.) Eric K. Shinseki for Secretary of Veterans Affairs is perfect for a couple of reasons. First, the troops love him for telling the truth early on in the Iraq war. Shinseki said the invasion of Iraq would take several hundred thousand soldiers. Which estimate secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul D. Wolfowitz pooh-poohed. But as the Iraq war descended into a no-win debacle, Shinseki was proved absolutely right. And, second, just as importantly, Shinseki was wounded in Viet Nam and knows the problems faced by returning vets and particularly wounded returning vets. As if Shinseki rising from the ashes of the Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney failure in Iraq were not enough of a lest-we-forget moment, we have this morning’s headline in the New York Times to remind us of the horrible decision by Bush and Co. to use mercenaries in Iraq: “Plea by Blackwater Guard Helps Indict Others”. The largest “security contractor” in Iraq (read, mercenary thugs), Blackwater, which was started by South Carolina far-right religious zealot, Erik Prince in 1997, and which contracted out as many soldiers-for-hire in Iraq as the volunteer army had in Iraq, has long been the subject of horror stories about its misuse of power. The worst of which was in 2007 and implicated six Blackwater guards. This morning, the NYT says: “In pleading guilty to manslaughter, the sixth security guard, Jeremy P. Ridgeway of California, described how he and the other guards used automatic rifles and grenade launchers to fire on cars, houses, a traffic officer and a girls’ school. In addition to those killed, there were at least 20 people wounded. The six guards were employed by Blackwater Worldwide, the largest security contractor in Iraq.” The Blackwater company has not been charged although it is no secret that Erik Prince and his protégé “Focus on the Family” religious zealot James Dobson believe that private Christian militias should rise up and take over the ungodly, unholy US government. However, this Blackwater black eye will no doubt slow down their planned religious war, particularly since Prince and Dobson no longer have a right-wing partisan zealot in the White House.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Op/Ed Writers Write—That’s Their Job

But even Frank Rich just turns the crank, at times. This morning’s New York Times Op/Ed column being one of those times. Back from a two-week vacation, Rich tells us that Obama’s economic team choices may fit David Halberstam’s original meaning of the title of his book, “The Best and Brightest”. Rich says Halberstam was being ironic with his description of the JFK team. They may have been bright but they surely weren’t the best. And they lead us into the Viet Nam war that “would destroy the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and inflict grave national wounds that only now are healing.” Then Rich points to Obama’s choice of Lawrence Summers as his top economic adviser and Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary and rips them apart for being bright, but hubristic, highhanded and worst of all, for being the protégés of President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who, according to Rich, is responsible for the “toxic mortgage-derivatives on Citigroup’s books” because he was asleep on the job. Rich says: “Washington’s cheerleading for our new New Frontier cabinet superstars has seldom been interrupted by tough questions about Summers’s Harvard career or Geithner’s record at the Fed.” Both of which, Rich claims, were less than wonderful and in Geithner’s case, possibly led to Lehman Brothers’ demise Okay. So? What’s it been, a week since Obama let the world know who his top job choices are? Washington has “seldom” asked tough questions? Is it possible there might still be time? Come on, Frank. I’m aware you had to churn something out for today’s column and I’m aware you probably had to write something negative about a couple of Obama’s choices lest you fall into the cheerleader camp. Still, your tag line gave you away when you wrote, “In the end Obama chose Paul Volcker as chairman of his Economic Recovery Advisory Board. This was a presidential decision not only bright but wise.” Right. Rich actually thinks Geithner and Summers are decent enough choices. And as Rich himself pointed out earlier in his column, “Well, nobody’s perfect. Given that John McCain’s economic team was headlined by Carly Fiorina and Joe the Plumber, the country would be dodging a fiscal bullet even if Obama had picked Suze Orman.” Bottom line: Frank Rich earned his fee for the week and the rest is blah-blah-blah.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mr. Ratfucker Wants to Have a Quiet Word

It’s been a long time since Mr. Ratfucker has found a need to speak out. So long, in fact, that some Ratbang readers may not even recognize the name. Mr. Ratfucker is happy to elucidate. Way back when the Ratbang Diary was called the Ratfuck Diary, a particularly dim numnut had a particularly irritating wild hair up her nose and called the Ratfuck blogger Mr. Ratfucker. In the instant, Mr. Ratfucker came into being. This morning, Mr. Ratfucker would like to note that he finds it most annoying when some readers comment on ancient Ratbang posts and then take the blogger to task for being behind the times. Mr. Ratfucker wonders if it has never occurred to these benighted readers of old posts to look at the date of the post before making a comment? And while he’s at it, Mr. Ratfucker would like to comment on the doubts of some persons that Hillary Clinton will take the Secretary of State appointment or that in fact she wants it, what nonsense! The name of a considered appointee is never leaked by a President Elect if that person has not said he/she will accept the appointment if named. It would not surprise Mr. Ratfucker to find out Barack Obama had asked Mrs. Clinton to be his SOS the day after he won the candidacy, contingent on the outcome of the vetting of both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. It would further not surprise Mr. Ratfucker to find out Mrs. Clinton had accepted immediately. Mr. Ratfucker thanks you for your time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

Now that the election is over and the pundits and op/ed writers are rummaging around for things to mull over and write about, their output has largely become tortured ruminations and boring blah-blah-blah. Tom Friedman is a classic example. From his halcyon days of being considered a dynamic force in the future of the middle east--his 2006 trip to Syria and subsequent columns on how to handle Syria, for example—through his spiraling down into ego-centered rants and nonsense, now today he is pontificating about Barack Obama possibly choosing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and telling us of his “worries” on that score. “Is Obama considering Mrs. Clinton for this job in order to get her off his back or as a prelude to protecting her back?” Friedman asks. (Among other deadly failings, Friedman glories in his turns-of-phrase and stand-up comic one-liners.) Then he tells us that he, Tom Friedman, knows more than anyone about what a relationship between a Prez and a Secretary of State should be because he covered James Baker when Baker was GHW Bush’s SOS. The world must be aware, Friedman says, that an SOS speaks for the Prez. An SOS and Prez must be totally in each other’s back pocket, their world-view must be identical with nary a disagreement between them...ever. And Friedman, from his high perch as know-all-see-all sage relates his concerns. Journalists and talking heads must not be allowed to see “daylight” between the Prez and SOS or they will jump on the flaw and tear them to shreds. “When it comes to appointing a secretary of state, you do not want a team of rivals.” Why not? one wonders. Who is Friedman to assume that the Baker-Bush model is the optimum form that must be followed? Who is Friedman to assume that two smart people cannot have different ideas and also arrive at a consensus that will indeed change things for the better? When will Tom Friedman realize he's become a has-been hack? Once again, Tom Friedman has fed 750 words into his laptop, emailed them to the NYT and gotten a check. And blah-blah-blah.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fear Not, Politics Is Still A Gapers’ Delight

As Frank Rich points out this morning in his Sunday Morning New York Times Op/Ed piece: “Election junkies in acute withdrawal need suffer no longer.” The presidential race may be over but, ”The cockfight among the losers has only just begun. The conservative crackup may be ugly, but as entertainment, it’s two thumbs up!” The Repubs are blaming each other, the fact that Bush is an inept dolt, the clueless McCain campaign and the rampant greed of the GOP for their defeat. But Rich says the problem is more fundamental than that. “The G.O.P. ran out of steam and ideas well before George W. Bush took office and Tom DeLay ran amok, and it is now more representative of 20th-century South Africa during apartheid than 21st-century America. The proof is in the vanilla pudding. When David Letterman said that the 10 G.O.P. presidential candidates at an early debate looked like ‘guys waiting to tee off at a restricted country club,’ he was the first to correctly call the election.” The Repubs have been in denial for decades. They think they can hoodwink voters into believing they are inclusive and pro-minority by talking about it rather than being pro-minority. Rich notes that, “a conservative Wall Street Journal editorialist asked whether “the G.O.P. doesn’t in fact have a perception problem, that it is no longer viewed as a big tent.” “A perception problem? Hello — how about a reality problem? The reason why they are promoting Palin and the recently elected Indian-American governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, as the party’s ‘future’ is not just that they (Jindal and Palin) are hard-line social conservatives; they are also the only prominent Republican officeholders under 50 who are not white men.” To me, the most unsettling thing in the Frank Rich article was this Gallup poll finding: 45% of Americans want to see Sarah Palin have a national political future while only 52% do not. Almost half of the Americans who just witnessed Sarah Palin running for Vice President and saw her being stupid, ignorant, pandering, corrupt, silly, hate-spewing and a right-wing religious zealot into the bargain, say they would be pleased for her to have a future in Republican politics. And the worst of it is that although it’s nice to see the GOP in such moronic disarray, still, as the Frank Rich tagline says: “At a time of genuine national peril we actually do need an opposition party that is not brain-dead.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So...How Many Days Now...70?

This is going to be difficult. One could not help shouting a Dan Ackroyd-ism at Sarah Palin on TV yesterday: Sarah, you ignorant slut! And Karen Hughes on CNN’s Situation Room...where’d she come from and what’s she been doing since her days as Bush’s counselor and holder of the world’s silliest title, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy? Talk about ignorant! She’s still defending George Bush but now she’s also mouthing gummy platitudes about how wonderful president-elect Barack Obama is in his blackness. (Oh please! tell me born-again-stupid Hughes is not going to manage Palin’s born-again-crass political career. Although it would be a boon for the comics.) And George Bush all over the news...unrepentant and unapologetic as ever, but acting like he had finally come to terms with his failures by saying maybe he does regret a couple things...the dead-or-alive thing, and the sailors who put up the “Mission Accomplished” sign which had nothing whatsoever to do with Iraq. Ugh! Seventy more days of baboon-speak. And the Republicans acting like 8 years of the worst administration since Nero never happened, while preening and puffing themselves up. And even talking about how the Republicans now have to get back to the business of showing the world how to run a smaller, more restrictive government that will be advantageous to the rich. And Grandpa McCain on Leno being (I hear) cute and self-deprecating. I couldn’t watch it. Gack and gag! Nor, I’m almost positive, will I be able to watch the ignorant slut on Larry King tonight. After these walking-on-eggshells, sappy, 70 days of clueless folk saying mindless things are over, how long will the Obama honeymoon be? Someone on CNN said it would be very long. We’ll know the honeymoon is over when the pundits, politicians and comics lay aside the fact that Obama is black and start ripping him apart like every president that has gone before him.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Like Judge Judy, But She Made a Bad Call

Larry King’s guest last night was Judith Sheindlin, the 66-year-old peoples court firebrand who was a family court judge in New York City, but on cable TV as "Judge Judy" is actually an arbiter not a judge. You either like Judge Judy or hate her. I like her. People who know Judith Sheindlin say that in real life, she is nothing like the persona she inhabits on her Judge Judy show. People say she is a nice older lady who is soft-spoken. Last night, appearing to have had yet another face lift (she surely rivals Larry King in that department), but looking very pretty in a bright green jacket and light green dress, Judge Judy talked about Barack Obama. She is a fan of Obama’s and said she thought his wife Michelle would be a "dynamite" First Lady. She also disagreed with people who said Mrs. Obama would put her well-known ambition on the shelf while her husband is President of the United States and would concentrate on being a mom and First Lady—as in, take a leaf from Laura Bush’s manual on how to be the wife of a President. Sheindlin, who has five children by two marriages said Michelle Obama need not choose between her own ambitions and being a dutiful First Lady. “She can do both,” Sheindlin said. True. And these days, few people will find fault with a First Lady who has her own agenda and power base. Then, having given her unqualified support to Barack and Michelle Obama, Judith Sheindlin went off her trolley. Larry King asked how she felt about Sarah Palin. Sheindlin said Palin is smart, she said Palin was blind-sided by the McCain team. Sheindlin said Palin was unduly maligned by the press. She said Palin is an accomplished person who was a good Mayor, a good Governor, a good mother and was thrown under the bus by everyone. Sheindlin said the potshots taken at Palin by the pundits, the press, the politicians, and by people in general were “disrespectful”. Oh please! That’s crap! As Judge Judy herself so often declares, “If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true.” Sarah Palin may be canny and a quick study, but she is not intelligent. And into the bargain, she is ignorant and woefully arrogant about her ignorance. Sheindlin feels Palin was taken advantage of like a lamb led to slaughter. And nothing could be farther from the truth. If there is anything admirable about Sarah Palin at all--and though I marvel at her hubris, I personally do not find it admirable--but if one can find self-absorption and hubris admirable, one has to admire the way Sarah Palin took advantage of the morons who tapped her to be John McCain’s running mate. From the moment she took the fateful phone call advising her she was being considered as a candidate for Vice President of the United States, Sarah Palin grabbed the opportunity and milked it for all it was worth. Not for her country-- had she been thinking of her country, she would have said “No thanks” to the McCain crew-- but for a shot at becoming the next American idol on some stage, any stage, somewhere, anywhere. It may be that Sheindlin is amused by the stupidity of the old pols who had totally wrongheaded ideas about women in general. It may be that Sheindlin is captivated by a ballbusting female who doesn’t give a rat’s behind (another Judge Judy locution) about playing by the rules, particularly rules invented by old men who want to go back to living in the 1950’s. But I suspect that Judith Sheindlin was giving voice to some knee-jerk reactions she’d had to Sarah Palin. I suspect Sheindlin had not done any research on Sarah Palin and was simply standing up for another mother of five who had decided women don’t have to stay in the kitchen. Had Judge Judy been faced with Sarah Palin in her court, she would have ripped her to shreds for being silly, dumb, a bad mother, egocentric, uncaring, manipulative and crass.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Big Exhale

What a relief! And I just want to say to all those black Repubs who now are talking about what a great day it is that a black man has been elected president: SHUT UP and go hide in a hole! You should be ashamed of yourselves for backing the worst president we have ever had, and for wanting to continue the ignominy that the Republican Party had sunk into. To his credit, Barack Obama never ran for president as a black man. He ran as a proud American. And he has given all of us the enormous gift of being able to be proud of America again. If John McCain had not run as a wounded veteran, he would have had a much better campaign. McCain would not have won, of course, but his campaign would not have been the total embarrassing spectacle of bad taste that it was. As if the disastrous terms of Republican presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush were not enough, John McCain added his campaign to the list of GOP mistakes and infamies. Bill Maher was on Larry King Wednesday night. He said we would never be rid of Sarah Palin. He said she would be around in 30 years when she is 74, either in politics or show biz. And that may be true. Sarah Palin is one of those freakish personalities who do not care what they have to say or do as long as they have an audience. Yesterday, she complained that she had wanted to deliver a concession speech Tuesday night and was not allowed to. Speechwriters had written two speeches for her, a victory speech and a loser’s speech. Campaign strategists wisely said No. John McCain needed no help to lose this election. He was going to lose. He was carrying on his back George Bush, the arrogance of the Republican Party, the Party’s eight years of failed policies, the Iraq war, his age, his infirmities, his temperament, his reputation as a loose cannon and his nasty wife. And then, as if to ensure that he not only lost the election but that he lost while people laughed at him, he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. I think most people, me included, would be content to let Sarah Palin go back to Alaska to live out her days in repentance and doing good works. But everyone knows that is not in the Palin DNA. That is why the Repubs are now letting the Sarah Palin story out of the box. They may not be able to pull her off the stage, but they can show how stupid she is. Comics already are saying they are going to miss George W. Bush. They are saying it’s going to be difficult to find stuff to satirize with Barack Obama. But they will always have Sarah Palin.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Palin’s Medical Records

Oh I do love this! Repub Vice President candidate Sarah Palin won’t, or at least hasn’t, as of this moment, released her medical records. We suspect it’s not her physical medical records she doesn’t want to reveal. We suspect it’s psychological records she wants to keep secret. We suspect she’s on no-nonsense psychiatric meds for her no-nonsense psychiatric problems. Which, of course, makes no matter either way to the election on November 4th. But it matters alot if Miss Know-nothing Moron expects to have a career in politics after this election. And the medical records will come know they will. Oh goody! Something to look forward to after this coming Tuesday.

Friday, October 31, 2008


The New York Times reports this morning: “A growing number of voters have concluded that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, is not qualified to be vice president, weighing down the Republican ticket in the last days of the campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.” No kidding! The Vice President of the United States has only two duties defined in the Constitution, 1) Taking over for the Prez if he becomes incapacitated, dies or is put in jail, and 2) Being President of the Senate. When asked what the Vice President does, Palin couldn’t come up with the answer. Even she knew it would be impolitic to say, “Wait for the President to die,” which, needless to say, is her concept of the job. “All told,” the NYT went on to report, “59 percent of voters surveyed said Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up nine percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president, and those voters broadly favor Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.” In addition to the voters deciding Palin is a know-nothing. self-aggrandizing fool (okay, those are my words), the NYT said that the fact McCain picked Palin, gave voters “much more confidence in Mr. Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in Mr. McCain.” Now that John McCain has inflated the persona of Sam the Unqualified Non-Plumber to the point that Sam/Joe is thinking about running for Congress, voters may also be worried that McCain would appoint him to the position of Secretary of State. Actually, if McCain had an internal monitor to oversee his impulses, which he doesn't, he too would be worried about his choices. Palin has decided to blow off the McCain advisers and go her own way saying what she wants, whenever she wants. And everyman Joe-the-Plumber (Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher) stood up a McCain rally yesterday. And McCain's decision to go on Larry King to complain and whine was not a good choice either. They are being likened to the cranky old Muppets codgers, Statler and Waldorf.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tell Me They Are Fucking Joking!

I was channel surfing last night, late. I am fairly sure it was on Jay Leno. But in any case, there was a bunch of very earnest, pundit-types sitting around a table with Leno, one of whom was David Gregory. And someone (need I say, a Republican male) made the totally deadpan assertion that the Repubs were considering the possibility they might lose the election on November 4th, to the point that they were talking about Sarah Palin as a candidate for President in 2012. I don’t remember if anyone guffawed because I hooted and drowned out the TV. But when I was able to breathe again, I heard this someone say that Sarah Palin was a totally believable candidate for president, that people loved her, that she knew about running governments, that the US of A was now ready to have a woman president and that in four years Sarah Palin could learn a lot. Is this idea really being floated? How insane is that! Considering that Hillary Clinton is alive and well. Although, now that I think of it, it does sound like a typical Repub plan. The first George W. Bush term as President was so horrible, the Repubs had to perpetrate fraud to make him president a second time. When the war in Iraq showed early-on that it was a bad idea and there was no way on God’s green earth that it could be won, the Repubs threw a few billion more dollars into it and killed a few more thousands of American soldiers to prove they hadn’t just been wrong, they had been really wrong. When John McCain saw that he was losing in the polls and needed a strong person to run with him as Vice President, he chose Sarah Palin, an aging ex-beauty-queen, who was despised in Alaska as both a Mayor and Governor and had nothing to recommend her except that the far-right Christian zealots thought she was dandy. And now that Sarah Palin is being credited with John McCain’s failing candidacy and people running his campaign are calling her a “diva” and saying she is the reason his polls went into the toilet, the Repubs are talking about running her for President in 2012. it all makes sense. Repub credo: If it was horribly wrong, badly thought out, badly executed, a total and complete mistake, guaranteed to fail, insanely stupid, silly, and wrongheaded, then do it again to prove it wasn’t an accident the first time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grandpa in Shirt Sleeves

McCain campaigned in Cedar Falls, Iowa today. He stood before a small (compared to the 100,000 people cheering Obama in Denver, CO) enthusiastic crowd on a darkened stage. He was in shirtsleeves. The power had failed and the air conditioning wasn’t working. His campaign hoped people and the press wouldn’t see the power failure as a metaphor. But it is a metaphor. McCain looked like an old man with failing powers. He chafed at Obama’s obvious popularity and the fact he was drawing huge crowds. "He's measuring the drapes”, McCain said, chiding Obama for seeming overconfident. McCain said his own campaign is “doing fine”, even in the face of a Newsweek poll released yesterday showing Obama with a 13-point lead nationally. McCain said he’s going to increase the money spent in Iraq, he’s going to lower taxes, and he’s going to balance the budget. How? He didn’t say except he alluded to lowering the Capital Gains tax. Then he made a small, but telling slip. He said, “IF I win the election....” John McCain has always previously said, “When I win the election”. And Grandpa in shirtsleeves in Iowa on a dimly-lit stage with no air conditioning again brought up his war injuries. Today just happens to be the 41st anniversary of the day John McCain was shot down in Viet Nam. It reminded me of hearing white-haired World War I vets talking about World War I in 1954. I was a guide at the UN at the time. The United States had been involved in the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. We guides were told we couldn’t call it a “war”. We had to say “the Korean conflict”, if we said anything at all. And that was 36 years after WWI. I tried to be diplomatic with the grandpas in shirtsleeves, but those Vets seemed so old, WWI was so far in the past and their experiences so irrelevant in the face of the problems the world faced in 1954. Today, John McCain again suggested that the fact that he was injured in the Viet Nam War and spent 6 years in a POW camp prepared him to be President of the United States. How? He didn’t say. McCain lauded Sarah McCain. “I don’t defend her,” he said. “I praise her.” Sarah Palin is so upset with the McCain campaign that yesterday she said she’s going to “go rogue” and go out on the campaign trail and say exactly what she wants to say, and the hell with the McCain advisors. McCain said, “She is exactly what Washington needs.” How? He didn’t say.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stopped Clock Department

In line with the old adage that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has weighed-in on Sarah Palin. Yesterday Chavez called Palin “a confused beauty queen” after she called him a dictator. “The poor thing,” Chavez said during a televised broadcast, “you just feel sorry for her.” Never one to tone down his rhetoric, Chavez then invoked Jesus Christ. "She's a beauty queen that they've pulled out to be a figurehead. We need to say as Christ did: Forgive her, she knows not what she's saying." Still, one can’t say he’s wrong. Living in a Cave Department I am so annoyed at not knowing Saturday Night Live is also doing stints on Thursday nights for a few weeks that I’m putting out an aviso to other cave dwellers: SNL has brought back Will Ferrell who is on Thursday night as well as Saturday night.

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain’s Jonah Ignored in WaPo Article

Today the Washington Post has a comprehensive analysis on the extent to which McCain is losing the election (“Polls Point to Struggle for McCain”). The opening teaser says, "Obama Leads in Battlegrounds, but GOP Nominee Plans to Keep Fighting". Referring to “the McCain team”, the article says, “The depth of their challenge was made plain yesterday by eight surveys produced by the Big Ten Battleground Poll. Obama not only leads in all eight Midwestern states by hefty margins but has improved his standing since the last time the group surveyed these states.” The article says, “the numbers are startling” and goes on to say, “Obama leads by 12 points in Ohio, 11 in Pennsylvania and 13 in Wisconsin. In Michigan, where McCain's campaign has pulled out, Obama's lead is 22 points. In Indiana, a strong red state, his lead is 10 points, larger than in other recent polls.” But a really startling thing is that John McCain's Jonah, Sarah Palin, is never mentioned in this article. It does note that Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden’s remark that “Obama would be tested internationally early in his presidency” would be a major negative talking point for McCain in the next 11 days. But the article stays a country mile from the subject of Sarah Palin. The WaPo analysis is even-handed enough to say, “There are certainly some polls that portray a different race. Some show Obama's margin in mid-single digits, and one poll this week showed Obama with a lead of a single point.” And it doesn’t shy away from quoting Peter Hart who opined about why McCain is losing the race. Hart helped conduct the NBC survey. He said, “after months of doubts, voters have reached a comfort level with Barack Obama...McCain faces significant doubts that he matches what Americans are looking for in terms of change or hope and optimism for the future." Still, no mention that McCain’s fortunes started to plummet after his disastrous choice of a smiling, unethical, ignorant, female character assassin for his running mate--a character assassin who is willing to lie and cheat her way to fame. No mention of the fact that when asked on Wednesday what a Vice President does, Palin didn’t have the foggiest notion and started rambling on that a VP shmoozes with Senators. My take is that men feel uncomfortable about ragging on Palin because she is McCain’s equivalent of a “female problem”. Sarah Palin is McCain’s “hot flash”, his change-of-life mood swing, she’s his “curse”, his “time of the month”. I think men think it’s unfair to come after Sarah Palin for all the real things that are wrong with her and McCain’s nomination of her, because she amounts to an unmentionable topic: Sarah Palin is John McCain’s hysteria made manifest. Sarah Palin is John McCain with female trouble and it’s scary as hell.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Turning A Rube Into a Babe: $150,000

And counting. There’s still two weeks to go before the election. And this sow’s ear is still no silk purse. The New York Times tells us this morning that, “Advisers to Ms. Palin said on Wednesday that the purchases — which totaled about $150,000 and were classified as “campaign accessories” — were made on the fly after Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, was chosen as the Republican vice-presidential candidate on Aug. 29 and needed new clothes to match climates across the 50 states. They emphasized, too, that Ms. Palin did not spend time on the shopping, and that other people made the decision to buy such an array of clothes.” This latest information about Sarah Palin, who not only desperately desires to be President of the United States but probably will be President if sick old John McCain wins the election, is making Repub strategists twist and turn like contortionists. And in addition, defending Sarah Palin is spending every day covering up moose turds with rose petals. So the Repub rejoinder to complaints about Palin’s expensive makeover is that Palin didn’t pick her clothes and other people shopped for her? Not making decisions is not a good thing, you gormless numnuts. So now the Repubs are getting their knickers in a knot when people say hockey moms and plumbers may not relate to the fact that this silly twit is spending more than average folks make in a year on babe attire. As Joy Behar said on “The View” yesterday, “I don’t think Joe the Plumber wears Manolo Blahniks.” The Repub defense? “The issue was tainted with sexism, given that male politicians often spend thousands of dollars on suits.” Oh please! Male politicians often spend thousands of dollars of their own money on suits. THEIR OWN MONEY! The NYT reported that some Repub operatives were privately saying that being critical of the clothing purchases for Palin “would be like kicking a campaign while it was down”. Yo! It’s not “like”. It IS. For a Repub to criticize the clothing purchases IS kicking a campaign when it’s down. And the reason the McCain campaign is down is because John McCain chose Sarah Palin, you morons. Well I ask you, who started the nonsense about Sarah Palin being just an ordinary mom going to hockey games with her kids? Not the Dems that’s for sure. Who first brought up the idea of animals wearing lipstick? Not the Dems. Thanks to Repub speech-writers trying to write clever lines for Palin, it’s now impossible not to think of pigs wearing lipstick when we hear about Sarah Palin’s handlers dressing her in expensive clothes. Which, by the way, they had to pick out because she’s incapable of exercising good taste in any area. “If they hadn’t done this, ‘Saturday Night Live’ would be doing jokes where Governor Palin would be dressed in elk skin,” said Rich Galen, a Republican consultant not associated with the McCain campaign. Wow! I could never have come up with a more concise explanation of the problem with Sarah Palin: If someone didn’t dress her, move her into position and tell her what to say, Sarah Palin would be even worse than she is when people dress her, move her into position and tell her what to say. The Republicans keep opening doors on skeleton closets in the Palin house and lifting the lid off smelly Palin trashcans, then they whine when we rummage through the dirty linen and hand it back to them. And you know, sure as Alaskan pigs wear designer lipstick, there’s more dirty linen to come.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Epiphany: Everyone Knows Palin Is Bad News

A conversation with my daughter made me realize a true fact. The media has a stake in making the public think that Sarah Palin is a reasonable choice for Vice President of the United States. And the Rightwingnut faction of the Republican Party has a stake in making the public think Palin is okay. But the world knows Palin must not be allowed anywhere near the office of Vice President. The media folks need to keep their jobs and fueling controversy is one way to do it. The Wingnut faction wants the Repubs to stay in office no matter if their choices and policies drive the United States into a deep hole of financial ruin and morally corrupt government. However, the voters know exactly who Sarah Palin is. And the voters know she is unwholesome, unsavory, unethical, unstable and unelectable. Sarah Palin’s modus operandi as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and as Governor of Alaska has been fully accessible to everyone who wants to find out what she is like since John McCain announced she would be his running mate. If the McCain folks didn’t fully vet her, it’s because they were afraid to find out the nastiness that the rest of us now know. But of course they did fully vet her and they didn’t care. The other night Ari Fleischer (former Bush press secretary) said to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show that he thinks Sarah Palin is a fine pick for Vice President. And CNN's Bill Bennett seems apt to choke on his words every time he acts as a Palin cheerleader, but he does it anyway. He says she’ll do fine. Why these men are lying through their teeth, is something I cannot hope to fathom, but lying they are. Perhaps there is even more grotty info about both of them that could be released to the public. But they are lying about Palin and the voters know they are lying. The information about Sarah Palin is available to all of us, and most of us who have a computer have accessed all the information we can find. And what the citizens of the United States have found out is that Sarah Palin is a liar, a cheat, a political blackmailer, a bully, a do-nothing, know-nothing hack, a born-again fool, a religious zealot and a nincompoop. Sarah Palin will never go to jail for any of the above and she’s proud to boast that she’s done nothing illegal. However her slate of accomplishments are all on the negative side of the ethical ledger. I have read them all. The voters have read them all. Only the media and the Right Wingnuts are persisting in claiming that Sarah Palin is qualified to run for Vice President. And only the media and the Right Wingnuts are claiming that Sarah Palin is even a responsible human being or, come to that, a good mother. Everything you and I know about Sarah Palin, the Republican Party knows and it simply does not give a damn. And the media, the pundits, the analyzers, and the talk show hosts just want to keep on serving up something to watch.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

“Mayberry Machiavellis

Thank you, Frank Rich, for reminding us of a great epithet. In his New York Times Op/Ed column this morning (“He Just Can’t Quit W”) Frank Rich quotes John Dilulio, chief of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives who said about the Bush administration in 2003, “There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything — and I mean everything — being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis.” And there you have in a nutshell, the best description of Sarah Palin—a tiny-town, small-time, petty Machiavelli. Palin’s turn on Saturday Night Live last night was a revelation: If she can’t be President, then she’ll audition for a berth on TV. But staying in the spotlight after her current politicking phase has run its course is the important thing. And like the 16th century statesman Nicolo Machiavelli who mapped out a cynical guide to power, Sarah Palin will do her small-beer best to remain on TV—whatever it takes. Rich says that the “rampant cronyism, nonexistent long-term planning and abrupt, partisan policy improvisations that fed the calamities of Iraq, Katrina and the economic meltdown...have not only entangled him (McCain) in a welter of conflicts of interest, but they’ve furthered cynical political stunts like the elevation of Sarah Palin. At least Bush and Rove didn’t try to put an unqualified hack like, say, Alberto Gonzales half a heartbeat away from the presidency.” Tina Fey, who had retired from Saturday Night Live and began a new career as writer/actor on the acclaimed “30 Rock” sit-com, said on David Letterman Friday night that her impersonation of Sarah Palin on SNL would end up like Vaughan Meader's as John F. Kennedy Remember Vaughn Meader? In 1962 he made a career out of his satirization and perfect-pitch impersonation of JFK on an album called “The First Family”. When Kennedy was assassinated, Meader’s livelihood and vocation ended. At least Tina Fey has a life other than mimicking Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is not so lucky. Sarah Palin is stuck with Sarah Palin.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sam the Non-Plumber

Well, doggonit! Don’t that beat all!!! Samuel Wurzelbacher doesn’t go by “Joe” and he doesn’t have a plumber’s license even though he takes on plumbing jobs, he owes back taxes, and into the bargain, the plumber’s union has backed Obama. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! There you go again, McCain. Another bad decision. You pick people up, give them mythic backgrounds and then we find out they not only are tainted, but they stink to high heaven. Today, the New York Times tells the real story on Sam the Non-Plumber (“Real Deal on ‘Joe the Plumber’ Reveals New Slant”). “The premise of his complaint to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts,” the NYT said. “Contrary to what Mr. Wurzelbacher asserted and Mr. McCain echoed, neither his personal taxes nor those of the business where he works are likely to rise if Mr. Obama’s tax plan were to go into effect, they said.” I think it was Bill Maher who said that all Obama had to do to win the election was to sit back and wait for McCain’s next bad decision. Speaking of Maher, last night was a great night for comic turns. Maher was on Larry King, and as usual had great comments while we watched McCain and Obama do their stand-up bits at the dinner honoring Al Smith. And they both were fairly funny. Then CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Gang dissected McCain and Obama, then Jon Stewart on The Daily Show dissected McCain and Obama, then Dave Letterman let John McCain be John McCain who did his Grandpa is Cute act. But as far as politics are concerned, the best part was finding out on Anderson Cooper’s show that Joe the Plumber is a fiction like Sarah the Guv, and John the Prez. None of the three can be trusted to tell the truth about what they had for breakfast. All three will allow any Rovian handler to manipulate them every which way but honest. And each of the three will sell out their grandmother if it would give them five minutes airtime on TV. Speaking of which, Sarah-the-so-called-Governor will be on Saturday Night Live this Saturday. I think she’s going to pretend she’s Tina Fey pretending she’s Sarah Palin pretending she’s Tina Fey.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Temperament and Making Decisions

The latest New York Times/CBS poll has found that John McCain’s recent angry tone and personal attacks on Barack Obama have backfired and tarnished McCain. The particulars quoted in the New York Times article (“Poll Says McCain Hurts His Bid by Using Attacks”) are predictable: Voters said their opinions of Obama had grown more favorable and that their opinion of McCain had worsened; the biggest reason cited for thinking less of McCain were his attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate; 52 percent of those polled said they held a favorable view of the Democratic Party while 37 percent said they held a favorable view of the Republican Party. However, one of the most interesting queries and responses was that 7 in 10 voters said Obama has the right kind of temperament and personality to be president and about half said the same of McCain. Temperament is a very important factor in a politician’s ability to make reasoned decisions. John McCain has made either the wrong decision or an impetuous decision at every stage of his campaign. The fact that 72-year-old McCain wants to appear vital and ballsy may have something to do with his wrongheaded choices. But the biggest factor is that John McCain doesn’t reason things out. He has a short fuse. When faced with a moment when he has to make a decision, he goes with his gut-feeling and immediately responds. That is not a good thing. And it is most particularly not a good thing when one assumes John McCain has been put on medications that are supposed to even-out his loose-cannon problem. Why do I say that? Because this is 2008 and doctors prescribe mood-controllers all the time. Because this is 2008 and one of the big criticisms of Senator John McCain is that everyone knows he flies off the handle. Because this is 2008 and McCain is 72 years old and on god-only-knows how many medications and regulating his moods is just one of many things his doctors have to regulate. Barack Obama’s temperament is a very important factor. He is even-tempered and he is young. Even-tempered and young beats old and explosive any day of the week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Palin No Longer a Draw

This morning’s lede paragraph in a Washington Post article by Dana Milbank (“An Unwitting Assist From the Hockey Mom”) written in Philadelphia says, “They were the quintessential Hillary supporters waiting for their heroine at the hall in northeast Philly: virtually all white, mostly women, and mostly old. Of the minority who weren't Jewish, most were Catholic. In the local state Senate district, primary voters went for Clinton over Obama by 3 to 1.” But now those Hillary supporters are Obama supporters and it’s mainly because of their antipathy to Sarah Palin. Whether Jewish or Catholic, these women had the same reaction to Palin: “God forbid!” As Gail Silverberg was quoted saying, "Hockey moms and lipstick on a pig and six-packs? I don't want that stuff." The article went on to say, “The new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the same thing. Fully 81 percent of Democrats and like-minded independents who favored Clinton said they now back Obama. If Obama gets the 90 percent of Democrats who tell the pollsters they support him, he will do better than any other Democratic candidate in nearly 40 years.” McCain will be on the Letterman show on Thursday but Letterman is still doing his anti-McCain shtick. Last night among other clips unfavorable to Palin, Letterman showed a clip of Palin dropping the ceremonial first puck at a Philadelphia Flyers game and he made particular mention of the boos in the background. (However, anyone familiar with Philadelphia hockey fans would have to say they were uncharacteristically well behaved toward Palin. Even though they were anti-McCain/Palin and were pissed at being turned into a campaign stop, they simply booed. As one fan said, “we didn’t throw batteries or beer at her”.) Letterman’s guest last night, Sarah Silverman, told Dave he should “ask The Supernanny” about something and he said, “We couldn’t get the Supernanny.” Apparently McCain is keeping her off the show Thursday. The definition for “geek” has changed considerably since I was a kid. Now it means nerd or someone obsessed with his computer. It used to mean freak or fool. And often it referred to a wild man in a carnival act who bit off the heads of chickens and bats and ate bugs. Will McCain and Palin get the bounce they are looking for from their vaudeville turns on television shows like Letterman and Saturday Night Live? Will morphing into geeks deliver the goods for them? I say NO! And I say NO because Americans are sick of fools and freaks in the White House.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Latest WaPo-ABC News Poll

This morning, an article in the Washington Post (“Obama Up by 10 Points as McCain Favorability Ratings Fall”) reports that according to the WaPo/ABC poll “Nearly two-thirds of voters, 64 percent, now view Obama favorably, up six percentage points from early September" and that "about a third of voters have a better opinion of the senator from Illinois because of his debate contrast, more than a quarter said they think worse of McCain as a result of the debates...McCain's overall rating has also dipped seven points, to 52 percent, over the past month.” The WaPo article goes on to say that the poll shows: “With just over three weeks until Election Day, the two presidential nominees appear to be on opposite trajectories, with Sen. Barack Obama gaining momentum and Sen. John McCain stalled or losing ground on a range of issues and personal traits.” Vice President nominee Sarah Palin was not mentioned in the poll findings. In his op/ed column in the New York Times this morning, the King of Smarm, William Kristol, said that McCain should fire his campaign: “It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign...he has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s. The Obama team is well organized, flush with resources, and the candidate and the campaign are in sync. The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed...he may be anyway. Bush is unpopular. The media is hostile. The financial meltdown has made things tougher. Maybe the situation is hopeless — and if it is, then nothing McCain or his campaign does matters.” But then Kristol backs out of his gloomy prediction and says there really is nothing wrong with McCain and Palin, that they are dandy candidates: “The hope for McCain and Palin is that they still have pretty good favorable ratings from the voters...the American people have by no means turned decisively against them.” Kristol also said the nasty attacks against Obama have been legitimate, but they should be dropped because people don’t like them. Oh are so oily, sleazy, dishonest, double-dealing and foul. Are you for or against McCain/Palin? Are you trying to help them or deal the final coup de grâce? Now that McCain has decided to go on the Letterman show this coming Thursday, one wonders if he will bring Palin along as he had previously offered to do. Whether McCain brings Palin along or keeps her muzzled and on a short leash back in the McCain campaign doghouse, we assume it will be the wrong decision.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Today’s Headlines

Alaska Inquiry Concludes Palin Abused Powers Polls Starting to Show Palin is Dragging McCain Down Obama Has a Seven-point Lead in Latest Poll

Monday, October 06, 2008

William Kristol in Palin-land

It’s so difficult for me to read William Kristol. Lord knows, I can’t look at his complacent, arrogant, self-satisfied face. But this morning, I soldiered on and read his entire op/ed column (“The Wright Stuff”) in the New York Times. He relates the gist of a conversation he had with Sarah Palin yesterday. In his lede paragraph Kristol says: “I spoke on the phone Sunday with Sarah Palin, who was in Long Beach, Calif., preparing to take off on her next campaign trip. It was the first time I’d talked with her since I met her in far more relaxed circumstances in Alaska over a year ago. But even though she’s presumably now under some strain and stress, she seemed, as far as I could tell, confident and upbeat.” He followed up with Palin on a remark she made a week ago that her son Track who was deployed to Iraq recently had been in touch with his girlfriend but not his mother. Kristol asked if Track had called. Not surprisingly, we find out that Track had called--the day of the debate, no less. Wouldn’t you love to have heard the conversation between Track and Palin’s minders who obviously gave orders to this soldier and told him in no uncertain terms to call his mother who had decided to become president, or else. “It was like a burden lifted when I heard his voice,” Palin told Kristol. Kristol goes on to repeat the conversation. “Palin said that she told him (Track) that she had a debate that night. ‘And he says, “Yeah, I heard, Mom,” and he says, “Have you been studying?” And I said, “Yeah, I have,” and he goes, “O.K., well I’ll be praying.” I’m like — total role reversal here, that’s what I’ve been telling him for 19 years.’” And Kristol goes, “That was Palin the hockey mom — or rather the military mom.” Really? Sounded like the Dysfunctional Mom talking to the Son Who Ran Away, to me. Kristol said he pointed out to Palin that if Obama’s past with the former bomber Bill Ayers is a legitimate issue, what about Reverend Wright? Kristol says Palin didn’t hesitate (or blink, I assume). She said, “To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.” Finally, Kristol asked Palin if she had any advice for John McCain? And of course she did: “I’m going to tell him the same thing he told me,” she said. “I talked to him just a few minutes before I walked out there on stage. And he just said: ‘Have fun. Be yourself, and have fun.’ And Senator McCain can do the same…Only maybe I’d add just a couple more words, and that would be: ‘Take the gloves off.’ ” And Kristol goes: “Hockey Mom knows best.” This whole column was satire, right Bill? I mean, you know how vapid and self-absorbed she sounds. You’re not honestly proposing that this absurd person is a reasonable choice for President. (And let us be clear, that is the office she is running for.) Are you? You are? Well, okay. I have a proposal no less fantastic but a tad more reasonable. How about Tina Fey for Vice President? Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin is more believable than Sarah Palin’s. And Tina Fey is a real professional, not a wannabe star, failed mom, mental case catastrophe.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Have you thought about that? From the moment Sarah Palin was tapped for McCain’s Vice President, Sarah Palin has thought of nothing but becoming President of the United States. A bit of fantasizing is in all of our lives. I have been known to write an Oscar-acceptance speech in my head. But Sarah Palin has decided she WILL be Prez. McCain’s shaky health is one factor. However Palin is so hopeful that McCain will pull out of the race for president before the election in November that she has already started to undermine him by countering his decisions with ideas of her own. He shouldn’t have pulled out of Michigan, she says. She wants to go to Michigan and save it for the Repubs. This morning in his Op/Ed column in the New York Times (“Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain”), Frank Rich says: “There’s a steady unnerving undertone to Palin’s utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition. She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon. She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. Or who is seen that way by her own camp, the hard-right G.O.P. base that never liked McCain anyway and views him as, at best, a White House place holder.” Rich goes on to say, “Charlie Gibson asked whether she thought she was ‘experienced enough’ and ‘ready’ when McCain invited her to join his ticket. Palin replied that she didn’t ‘hesitate’ and didn’t ‘even blink’ — a response that seemed jarring for its lack of any human modesty, even false modesty. In the last of her Couric interview installments on Thursday, Palin was asked which vice president had most impressed her, and after paying tribute to Geraldine Ferraro, she chose ‘George Bush Sr.’ Her criterion: she most admires vice presidents ‘who have gone on to the presidency’... Hours later, at the debate, she offered a discordant contrast to Biden when asked by Gwen Ifill how they would each govern ‘if the worst happened’ and the president died in office. After Biden spoke of somber continuity, Palin was weirdly flip and chipper, eager to say that as a ‘maverick’ she’d go her own way.” It is so easy to forget that people like George Bush and Sarah Palin--narcissists—do not have the same responses that people without that severe mental defect have. They feel no empathy or sympathy. They can approximate the response they see in others but they cannot feel it themselves. They are good actors and copiers. But they have no heart in their heart-of-hearts. Rich said this morning, “But the debate’s most telling passage arrived when Biden welled up in recounting his days as a single father after his first wife and one of his children were killed in a car crash. Palin’s perky response — she immediately started selling McCain as a 'consummate maverick' again — was as emotionally disconnected as Michael Dukakis’s notoriously cerebral answer to the hypothetical 1988 debate question about his wife being 'raped and murdered.' If, as some feel, Obama is cool, Palin is ice cold. She didn’t even acknowledge Biden’s devastating personal history.” Frank Rich wonders how long it will be before Palin pleads with McCain to get out of the way (her way) and pull out of the race. But were I in McCain’s shoes, I would immediately hire a food taster and monitor all my meds very carefully. Sarah Palin is capable of anything because she feels nothing. As Rich said in his tag line: “Palin, we can be certain, wouldn’t even blink.”

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I Don't Know Where To Start

Which is what Joe Biden said at one point Wednesday night during his debate with Sara Palin when she spewed out words signifying nothing. Me too. Where does one start re this Sarah Palin impersonation One of Palin's locutions that will be repeated endlessly is, “Say it ain’t so, Joe! There you go pointing backwards again ... Now, doggone it, let’s look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education, and I’m glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and God bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right?” This is after, as Dave Letterman pointed out last night, Palin's minders had told her to set up the above point in her "Our Gal Sunday" script by saying, upon greeting Biden, "May I call you Joe?" Bob Herbert noted in his New York Times Op/Ed piece this morning. "Sarah Palin is the perfect exclamation point to the Bush years. We’ve lived through nearly two terms of an administration that believed it could create its own reality." What we're witnessing now is another "Wag the Dog" segment in Republican leadership. A completely phony person has been created out of the rags and bones of a narcissistic opportunist named Sarah Palin. And why not? They've done it before. Following the pattern of the character in Budd Shulberg's "A Face in the Crowd" (which was Will Rogers out of the psyche of "the old redhead" Arthur Godfrey), the Repub makeover-mavens fashioned man-from-Connecticut George W. Bush into an east-coast politician's idea of a Texan. Now they're working on an east-coast politician's idea of a 1950's midwestern farmwife (complete with phony folksy dialogue) who's been isolated in Alaska but is plucky and cutesy with a dollop of Unsinkable Molly Brown thrown in. One can only comment. One cannot analyze or speak in rational terms of what the McCain crew and the RNC and the Republican Party thinks it's doing, because it is so bizarre. Someone had a daydream about a salt-of-the-earth mother of five who wanted to be a movie star and decided to go into politics instead, and out has popped Sarah Palin. By the way, speaking of commenting. What was that little baby of Palin's doing at the debate? That was uncalled for as far as the kid's well-being is concerned, and I will bet you he was tranquillized. Or did the RNC Make-Your-Dream-Come-True Production crew rent a baby or use an animatronic lifelike kidlet instead?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oh! And Another Thing

Here’s what’s wrong with women in politics. I just heard something on the radio and could not let this pass. The commentator on KYW 1060 said that in tonight’s debate Joe Biden was going to have to be very careful not to appear to be “unchilvalrous” toward Sarah Palin. Why? Everything Sarah Palin has done in her life she has done with brass balls and disrespect for anyone but herself. She has pushed herself forward like a bull charging a matador. But when the going gets tough in her personal life and in her professional life Sarah Palin suddenly pulls the gender card. If Sarah Palin were the only woman in politics who does this, one could say it’s a fluke and a glitch. But all women in politics and/or their minders do this. Women from iron maidens of virtue like Phyllis Schafly and Liddy Dole up and down the distaff side of politics pull this crap about being deserving of special respect for being a woman. When in every aspect of their life they are as mean, vicious, bloodthirsty, corrupt and violent as any man would dare to be. “Oh heavens above,” they cry, “don’t you say that awful four-letter word around me, for I am a delicate flower of honored womanhood and I will cut your balls off and snatch you bald-headed.” I am sick of it. If a woman wants to be a construction worker, a politician, or a contract killer for the mob, I say go ahead and god bless. But when a woman puts herself in the world to compete in the world and is demanding parity with men in the world, then cut the bullshit about being deserving of respect solely for being a woman. We are all deserving of respect for being human beings and no more and no less than each other. But we are deserving of respect no more for being a woman than being a man, and no more for being a man than being a woman. I see myself as an equal-respect person. I have no respect whatsoever for George W. Bush, Barbara Bush, John McCain or Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bill Maher’s Best Line Last Night on TDS

Bill Maher said on The Daily Show last night, “Even stupid people are starting to realize that Sarah Palin is stupid.” Although I would say that Palin has enough brains to keep from being stupid, her ego is fed by pandering to stupidity. Ergo, she sounds and acts totally brainless. Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin will face off tomorrow night at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Will Palin's cramming for the debate work? It will until she’s thrown a curveball where she has to reason out a response to a question. Memorizing answers to a catechism is not difficult. But adding A to B to arrive at C is something else again. Well, we’ll see. Tomorrow I’m off to God’s country (Brooklyn) for a week. Talk to you when I get back.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Waiting for McCain to Go Off? Maybe He Did

The McCain-as-loose-cannon theory has caused many campaign watchers to wait patiently for the moment when candidate John McCain would get so angry that he’d lose his cool in front of TV cameras. A moment highly anticipated because it would be immortalized on You-Tube and replayed forever. But it may be that we witnessed a McCain loose-cannon moment last Wednesday and we didn’t recognize it. Our Republican leaders are so heavily medicated, who would know? Although, last week “Newsweek” made an interesting observation when it wrote that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson had become President George W. Bush’s surrogate since Bush has abdicated all pretense of leadership. Newsweek noted Paulson is a teetotaler. If Newsweek was using a code to let us know our Prez is drinking again, the magazine would merely have joined a long list of bloggers and commenters who are asserting the same thing. It’s not that Bush is heavily tranked that makes him seem out of it. It’s that he’s drunk. But back to McCain. As Frank Rich said in his op/ed column in the New York Times yesterday (“McCain’s Suspension Bridge to Nowhere”): “The question is why would a man who forever advertises his own honor toy so selfishly with our national interest at a time of crisis. I’ll leave any physiological explanations to gerontologists — if they can get hold of his complete medical records — and any armchair psychoanalysis to the sundry McCain press acolytes who have sorrowfully tried to rationalize his erratic behavior this year.” So, it would seem that John McCain’s minders are as convinced as the rest of us that he’s going to explode at some point and he’s been heavily medicated. But whatever medications John McCain is on can’t keep the man from forever and consistently acting in what he believes is his own best interest. Unfortunately for McCain, he’s 72 years old. He doesn’t realize you can no longer make high-road sounding claims for yourself while doing the opposite. He claimed he was immediately going to suspend his campaign in order to go to Washington to fix the financial crisis. But he didn’t suspend his campaign. None of his campaign sites ceased operation for even a nano-second. And he didn’t rush to Washington. He was filmed going on talk shows in New York to advance his campaign. He said he would not debate Senator Barack Obama last Friday night because his expertise was needed to save the US from ruin. But he did debate Obama. Many sources in Washington were quoted saying McCain not only did nothing to help the financial crisis, he actually obstructed the proceedings and his presence in Washington was not requested by the Repubs, it was dreaded. It looks like the loose cannon fired off a load and it dropped at his feet, dead. And now the latest news from within the McCain camp is that McCain is sorry he picked Palin for a running mate and Palin is sorry she accepted. One thing you can bet on. Palin will talk. Palin will spill her beans. Palin will write a book(s). Palin will unburden herself and betray everyone she knows. Oh happy day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ploys, Tactics, Strategies, Game Plans, One-Ups

All candidates use all of the above when running for office. But where McCain and Palin (and Bush before them) are concerned, that’s all there is. Had George W. Bush been truthful when asked how he would accomplish his plan (any plan), he would have said, “By cheating.” Or he would have said, “I haven’t the foggiest notion.” And like George W. Bush, what McCain and Palin do have is Karl Rove and his ploys, tactics, strategies, game plans and one-upmanship. It has now become clear to even such a Republican cheerleader as David Brooks that John McCain hasn't the foggiest notion about anything. After using considerable ink this morning to bloviate about McCain of yore and back in the day, David Brooks finally says in his New York Times Op/Ed column (“Thinking About John McCain”): “...What disappoints me about the McCain campaign is it has no central argument. I had hoped that he would create a grand narrative explaining how the United States is fundamentally unprepared for the 21st century and how McCain’s worldview is different. McCain has not made that sort of all-encompassing argument, so his proposals don’t add up to more than the sum of their parts. Without a groundbreaking argument about why he is different, he’s had to rely on tactical gimmicks to stay afloat. He has no frame to organize his response when financial and other crises pop up.” Exactly when John McCain became a lying, cheating bag of wind is unclear, but it was probably coincidental with the Iraq war. That’s when John McCain became a self-aggrandizing old man fantasizing about his days of glory. And it is that self-aggrandizing old man who suspended his campaign to rush to Washington on Wednesday—if rush is the word that can be used about his various celebrity talk-show stops en route—in order to show Congress how to fix the financial crisis bailout debacle. What McCain envisioned he could or would do, is anyone’s guess. But that is not important to McCain. As even David Brooks has to admit, McCain has no plans or proposals, he only has tactical gimmicks. And if it is now obvious to one and all that John McCain is a pin-prick away from deflating in front of our eyes, it is also clear to reality show aficionados that John McCain and Sarah Palin have both become their own worst nightmare—a political joke and laugh-line for comics. Their final gimmick, I have no doubt, will be to blame Barack Obama and television for their becoming the clowns in a three-ring-circus.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is Anyone Buying McCain’s Load of Baloney?

Yesterday afternoon at 3:30, an aviso went out from the New York Times that Senator John McCain would “temporarily suspend his presidential campaign on Thursday to return to Washington to deal with the financial crisis and the bailout package pending before Congress” and that “Mr. McCain is asking Senator Barack Obama's campaign and the Commission on Presidential Debates to postpone the debate scheduled for Friday night." Only later did we find out that it had been Obama who called McCain to request that they make a joint appeal for bipartisanship on the bailout package. In a very low-key interview from Florida on CNN’s Situation Room, Obama explained that he had been surprised by McCain’s announcement he wanted to suspend his campaign only ten minutes after Obama had called McCain. Obama said he saw no reason why their campaigns and the debate should not go on as planned. For one thing, Obama wryly noted, presidents should be able to handle more than one thing at a time. No one can fault McCain for grabbing at straws to rationalize taking a break from a campaign that is not going well. The latest Washington Post/ABC poll yesterday showed that Obama had jumped ahead significantly due to the financial crisis debacle. And McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin had not come off well in her Katie Couric interview. In addition, Palin’s being shielded from any interaction with the press had backfired. The press, not unreasonably, feels anyone claiming to be ready to be president of the United States should be available to the press to answer questions about how she would handle issues that might arise. So it’s understandable that John McCain would love to get out of the circumstances he has put himself in, if only temporarily. But the straw McCain chose to seize does not make sense. He says he wants to return to Washington to “focus on the financial crisis”. By doing what? He’s a candidate for President. The only thing he could do is politicize the bailout vote. And that is the last thing this financial debacle needs. It has been suggested that all Obama has to do to win this election is sit back and wait for John McCain’s next boneheaded decision. McCain’s Dumbass Idea Number One Picking Sarah Palin as running mate. McCain’s Dumbass Idea Number Two Abdicating his campaign and debate by claiming he needs to be in Washington to honcho the bailout vote. McCain’s Dumbass Idea Number Three Wait for’s inevitable.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

“The Turd-Icing on the Bush-Term Cake”

Perfect! Last night The Daily Show’s host, Jon Stewart, came up with a strikingly accurate description of the meltdown of the US financial system. He called it “the turd-icing on the Bush-term cake”. Using less graphic language but no less damning rhetoric, Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) told The Associated Press that the crisis was “entirely foreseeable and preventable, not an act of God”. And not only that, Senator Dodd and Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) agreed that the solution that the Bush Administration’s Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent to Congress is “unacceptable”. This morning, the New York Times quoted Senator Dodd saying the Treasury proposal is “stunning and unprecedented in its scope and lack of detail.” At the same time, the NYT reported: “One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain's campaign manager from the end of 2005 through last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. The disclosure contradicts a statement Sunday night by Mr. McCain that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had no involvement with the company for the last several years." And on Tuesday the AP reported: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe of four major U.S. financial institutions whose collapse helped trigger a $700 billion government bailout plan...two unnamed law enforcement officials said the FBI is looking at potential fraud by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and insurer American International Group Inc. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was said to be under investigation as well.” In addition, the AP said, “In the past two weeks, the government has taken over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's two biggest mortgage companies, with a bailout plan that could require the Treasury Department to put up as much as $100 billion for each of them over time if needed to keep them afloat as mortgage losses mount. Last week, the Federal Reserve provided an emergency $85 billion loan to AIG, which teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. Lehman Brothers was forced to file for bankruptcy after attempts to engineer a private rescue fell apart. All the companies were laid low from bad bets on complex mortgage-related securities.” The people who want to keep these clowns in office cannot be reasoned with. They are beyond all hope. I do believe there are enough of the rest of us to save the United States of America from extinction, however.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Repub Ploy: Name a GOP Sin, Call It a Dem Sin

Here’s how it works: Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild was a rabid supporter of Hillary Clinton. She raised mountains of money for Hillary’s presidential campaign. Lady Lynn and her hubby Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild (of THE banking Rothschilds in England) split their time between New York and a country estate in Britain. But now Lady Lynn has decided to back John McCain’s run for president. She says the reason is because her life “is not a bad life” and she wants everyone in the US to have one just like it. (Read, she's afraid the unworthy Dems will make her life unliveable or illegal.) Yesterday, the fabulously wealthy socialite told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Situation Room: "I have a wonderful life. I want John McCain and Sarah Palin in the White House so other people can have that wonderful life.” When Blitzer asked if the Dems were giving her grief, Lady de Rothschild drew herself up and in a fit of pique told Blitzer, "I'm getting it all the time, particularly from the likes of you, the liberal elite," she quipped. "You're the elite, not me." There. See how it’s done? When McCain flip-flops on his stance on issues, he claims it’s the Dems who flip-flop on issues. When Sarah Palin disrespects laws, ethics and displays the socialization of a four-year-old child, she claims she is being disrespected and that she is simply a high-minded Christian lady trying to make her way in a tough world. When Wolf Blitzer asked Lady Lynn if, in fact, the life she leads doesn’t make her elite, Sean Hannity over at Fox blasted Blitzer for being disrespectful. He said Blitzer should be ashamed. Lady Lynn told Blitzer the reason she does not like Barack Obama is because "he's an elitist."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah Palin’s Run for President

In his New York Times Op/Ed article this morning (“The Palin –Whatsisname Ticket”), Frank Rich relates that Wall Street Journal writer Thomas Frank had identified for us the unnamed writer Sarah Palin quoted in her acceptance speech last week when she aligned herself with President Harry Truman. Palin said a writer had said about Truman, “we grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity.” That writer was Westbrook Pegler, powerful fanatic Republican, rabid McCarthyite and Hearst columnist. For those of us who can remember the full nastiness, vitriol, loathing and contempt that Pegler felt for all Democrats. all Jews, all immigrants and everyone in the world (Including Harry Truman) except Republicans, it’s a perfect choice for Palin’s writers to have picked Pegler to honor and quote. As Rich said, Palin knew no more about Pegler than she knew about “Bush’s doctrine”, which question had flummoxed her last Friday when Charles Gibson asked if she agreed with it. But Palin felt so akin to the Pegler words that she added, "it's small-town Americans who run our factories, fight our wars and are always proud of their country." Subtext: the rest of us are scum. But the core of Rich’s article is that Palin’s handlers and Palin herself are no longer interested in her as Vice President to John McCain’s President. It has now been fully realized by the Repubs that McCain is a weak, forgetful old man who cannot draw flies. (Without Palin at his side, McCain could not attract even a small crowd at the Reading Terminal in Philadelphia on Friday.) The unspoken change in the Republican platform (and the change that dare not be spoken) is: Palin for President because the Repubs know McCain will become addled and confused or die in office. Or, addled, confused and die in office. Now no longer is Palin not allowed out on her own, speaking her own mind and promoting the Republican platform of fear. Now McCain cannot be allowed out without Palin because Palin is the crowd-pleaser. Will this freak-show work? If you mean will Palin be able to draw crowds....yes, of course. Will she attract the voters necessary for a Repub win? I doubt it. Starting in 1937 and running until 1959, there was a popular soap opera on CBS radio at 12:45 noon. Every day the announcer said, "Once again, we present Our Gal Sunday, the story of an orphan girl named Sunday from the little mining town of Silver Creek, Colorado, who in young womanhood married England's richest, most handsome lord, Lord Henry Brinthrope. The story that asks the question: Can this girl from the little mining town in the West find happiness as the wife of a wealthy and titled Englishman?" Will Our Gal Palin from a little mining town in Alaska find happiness as the ventriloquist’s dummy for the world’s richest men in the world? Nah!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Palin “Ready” But At Sea Over “Bush Doctrine”

Sarah Palin is a quick study. Narcissists tend to be able to quickly assimilate information. And oh yes, we have another Republican narcissist on our hands (as in, a person who demonstrates a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.) Palin was shipped back to Alaska by her handlers for an intensive cram course in statesmanship. It is yet to be decided by the Repubs whether her interview at the hands of ABC’s Charles Gibson yesterday will be a one-off or whether it will be the first of many. The New York Times this morning said Palin was at times “visibly nervous”, and at other times appeared “to hew so closely to prepared answers that she used the exact same phrases repeatedly, Ms. Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her that it meant the right of ‘anticipatory self-defense.’” Quickly assimilating information is necessary for narcissists because they need to be able to seem to be acting like everyone else in the culture even though they have no understanding of human responses like compassion and altruism. The NYT said, “There were no obvious gaffes during the grilling by Mr. Gibson”. Not true. There was the gaffe by the Repub strategists for letting the weaknesses of their rookie be seen and studied. And that couldn’t be helped. They had to, of course. Palin said, unequivocally and confidently that she is “Ready!” And so her first mistake has been made: Sarah Palin believes she’s ready to be President. Palin’s sights are not on being Vice President. She believes she is ready TODAY to be President of the United States. Remember the one about the little kid in a sailor suit who says to his dad, “Look at me Daddy, I’m an Admiral.” And his daddy says, “Son, by you, you’re an Admiral, and by me you’re an Admiral, but by an Admiral, you’re no Admiral.” The stage is now set for Sarah Palin’s fall.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palin Is the Perfect Repub Candidate...She Lies

VP nominee Sarah Palin said that Alaska’s 1700-mile pipeline would deliver natural gas from the North Slope of Alaska to the lower 48 states and would be the largest private-sector infrastructure project on the continent. During Palin’s high-decibel (as in shrill) campaign speech Palin said, “And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence. That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart.” However, the New York Times revealed this morning: “Ms. Palin has overstated both the progress that has been made and the certainty of success. The pipeline exists only on paper.” Under the most optimistic circumstances, dirt is not expected to be turned for years, the NYT said. “TransCanada’s plan calls for it to file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the end of 2011, and to have the pipeline operational by late 2018. The company is not obligated to proceed with the project even if it clears all the financial and regulatory hurdles. “In assessing the state of the project, Mr. Galvin, the state revenue commissioner, avoided the characterization that Ms. Palin employed in her convention speech. A number of important decisions remain in the relationship between the state and TransCanada, he said, including whether the state will ultimately endorse the company’s application to the federal government.” In other words, pie in the sky. Like the Palin e-bay story: "That luxury jet that came with the office... I put it on eBay!" Palin said. The jet may have been put on eBay, but it never sold. And the creative idea was not Palin’s. Alaska Officials had been putting big-ticket items on eBay since 2003, three years before Palin became governor. "The eBay thing didn't work out very well," Dan Spencer, director of administrative services for the Department of Public Safety (the individual charged with trying to get rid of the plane) told the Anchorage Daily News in April 2007. "I am [tired of dealing with it]," he added. "I don't know about anyone else." But poor old doddering John McCain bought the eBay tale and repeated it until he was finally told it was a fiction. Nonetheless, Palin was repeating it endlessly through last week. The jet and eBay may not have been a good fit, but Sarah Palin and the Republican Party are a marriage made in heaven. At least until they start lying to each other.

Monday, September 08, 2008

How Can I Still Be Shocked at George W. Bush?

It’s amazing. Although I have been saying for the last 8 years that GWB is crazy as a loon, delusional, narcissistic and a dangerous Christian right zealot, I was alarmed and stunned while watching the Washington Post’s Editor Bob Woodward on “60 Minutes” last night as he divulged more inside info on President Bush. Woodward’s new book, “War Within” goes on sale today. Woodward conducted more than 150 interviews for this new book, two of which were with George W. Bush. Woodward said on “60 Minutes”: 1) Bush questioned whether our troops in Iraq were really fighting. He knew they were dying but was not sure they were fighting hard enough. 2) ALL the generals Bush queried about the war in Iraq agreed that the surge was not working and that we were losing the war. Bush then found a general who agreed with him—David Petraeus. 3) Bush lied in all his television appearances when he said the war was being won when he knew the US was losing the war in Iraq. 4) Even Dick Cheney told Bush the war was going badly and the US should start withdrawing. Bush insisted the war could be won. 6) To this day, George W. Bush cannot understand why the people of Iraq are not grateful to the United States for “liberating” them. 7) For years, the US has been spying on everything Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Hassan al-Maliki says and does. Maliki may or may not know this. (As was noted last night, he knows now.) 8) The US has a secret weapon it’s been using to target and kill insurgent leaders. If the surge has been working, that is the reason why. It has nothing to do with escalating the size of our troop deployment in Iraq. Woodward said he could not divulge what the weapon is but it is as groundbreaking as the tank and airplane were. 9) When asked what George W. Bush would say to the new occupants in the White House, the prez said, “Do not fail in Iraq.” Yes, of course, the current president of the United States is unbalanced, delusional and fighting a holy war in Iraq. But what of the people in the Republican administration who have used the madness of GWB to prolong an unnecessary war for their own corrupt ends, like munitions contracts and war profits? There are high-level Republicans who could have stopped these war crimes and they did not do so. Now it’s up to the rest of us to end this madness the only way we can. By voting. There is only one sane choice: Barack Obama.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin Uses Repub Convention to Defend Herself

Last night, the world found out John McCain’s running mate is very good at delivering a speech she didn’t write. Fortunately for Palin, the Republican ticket and the Republican Party, Palin didn’t have to talk about McCain’s vision for the United States, or inform the world of her foreign policy experience, both of which would be normal topics for a Vice President candidate at a National convention. John McCain has a clear vision of himself as a brave former naval aviator who spent six years in a POW prison in Viet Nam. And he has a vision of himself as a forceful maverick Senator. But he has no vision for the United States other than the course laid out by the Bush administration for the past eight years. And, of course, his running mate, Sarah Palin, has no foreign policy experience. So luck was on Palin’s side that she could stand before the world and counter, point by point, the claims of inexperience, ineptitude and questionable behavior that have been raised against her, and not betray how naive, inept and callow she would be as Vice President. Palin was good last night. She energized the totally white Republican Convention in St. Paul. And god knows, the sleepwalking, tired, old John McCain needed a shot of energy. The only problem for the Repub ticket is that between the end of the Republican convention and election day on November 4, voters are going to take a sober look at who the Repubs went to bed with: An old man who has mental and physical health problems and a housewife who has more problems in her home than she can handle. Loyal Republican Rudy Giuliani, who had to withdraw from his 2000 bid for the US Senate because of prostrate cancer and because his personal life was filled with scandal, said that no one would dare say that a man should withdraw from a political career because he needed to take care of his five children, one of whom has Down Syndrome, which has been said of Sarah Palin. That is true, Rudy, because for better or worse, the care giving in a family, traditionally has fallen to the women in a family. And that has not materially changed. Look around, who is ministering to elderly parents, children with problems and sickness in the family? It is mostly mothers, grandmothers and aunts. Sarah Palin said the difference between a pit bull and a soccer mom is lipstick and she was wildly cheered. Think about it. That is not funny. It may be true about Sarah Palin. She may be like a pit bull—mean, snarling, vicious, unthinking and unrelenting—but that is not a good thing. And there are thousands of real soccer-moms who are feeling rightfully offended.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Remember the Movie, “The Candidate”?

There is a scene in "The Candidate" where campaign manager Peter Boyle tells candidate Robert Redford the point of his candidacy: “You lose,” which comes as a surprise to Redford. What if.... What if the whole point of the insane choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate is that she not only insure McCain’s loss, but that her foibles, family problems and lack of experience take the spotlight away from the Republican failures of the last eight years. And why would the Republican Party do this? Because it would rather see a Democrat president than John McCain. And what if the Republican Party is sick to death of the religious right and its demands? That’s a stretch, I know. But unless the entire Republican Party has gone as bonkers as George W. Bush, what other reasonable explanation is there, except that the Repubs have orchestrated this entire catastrophe? The Palin soap opera is fascinating I have to admit. It keeps providing bizarre entertainment day after day. And until Democrat VP candidate Joe Biden debates Palin on October 2nd, the Perils of Palin will be the best and strangest reality show on TV. If the Republican Party is convinced McCain is going to lose, nay, if it wants McCain to lose and if it wants McCain to take the religious right faction down into the bargain, how better to do it than to make McCain, Palin and the religious right a laughing stock? I’m not sure why I want to find logic in this Republican Party debacle. Maybe they all really are crazy as loons.