Archive for the ‘voting’ Category

It’s been a long time since my last post, and I haven’t commented on the election results.  You may chastise me at will.

Basically, I’m pretty tired of politics.  Watching and commenting on the quadrennial whack-a-mole game we call electoral politics has been exhausting, frustrating, and finally exhilarating.  I’m tired and I’m taking a break from it.  Gonna write a novel, which I’ve been trying to do for the past ten years.

But first, a few belated shout-outs:

Barack Obama:  Congratulations, dude!  You’ve won – now the hard part.  Cleaning up the shit-storm the Bush crowd has created will be no easy task.  But from watching your cabinet post selections over the past two weeks I think you’ll be up to the job.  As of January 20th, you’ll be my president and everyone else’s president as well, and you’ll have my support.  Of course, I reserve the right to unreservedly chastise you if I think you’re screwing up, so watch yourself.  Fortunately, your predecessor set the bar so fucking low that you can’t help but succeed by comparison.  You’d really have to work hard to fail that badly.  Good luck.

John McCain:  Congratulations, dude!  You’ve lost – now the easy part.  You don’t have to eat the shit sandwich served up by your buddy George W.  Selecting Sarah Palin as your running mate was a feat of genius – it allowed you to throw the election without looking like you were throwing it.  And your last-minute appearance on SNL was brilliant.  Loved it – your wife never looked better.  Too bad I cant afford any of the McCain Fine Gold, though.  Would have made a nice gift.  Now you’ve got a choice to make – which home to retire to?  Eeenie, meenie, miney, moe… Good luck.

George Bush: Congratulations, dude!  Your epic disaster of a Presidency is almost over.  You managed to do more damage to the country and American presige, power and credibility in your eight too-long years than any previous leader in history.  Despite your best efforts, you did it without completely dismantling the Constitution, the rule of law, civil rights, morality and common decency.  Your incompetence, ineptitude, corruption and moral degeneracy will be remembered throughout history.  You will be forever remembered as the worst President in American history.  But take heart – you still have 60 days to really fuck things up royally.  I’m sure you won’t waste them.  After January 20th, the only decision you’ll have to make will be which books to include in your Presidential LIbrary.  I’m sure you can finish coloring them before then.  Good luck!  Now go to hell.

Sarah Palin: Congratulations, babe!  You managed to turn a sure Democratic victory into a Democratic landslide – thanks!  All I have to say now is “Palin 2012!”  Run, baby run!  Every time you open your mouth you remind us why we voted for Obama in the first place.  The thought of you in the White House sends cold chills down the spine of every thinking, intelligent person in the country.  So keep up the good work – we could use another landslide in 4 years.

America: Congratulations, my country!  We finally proved we’re ready to lead the world.  Good luck.

Peace out.  I don’t know when I’ll return again.

Historian Fareed Zakaria, writing in Newsweek this week and in a recent interview on CNN yesterday, has said that Sarah Palin is simply not qualified to be Vice President and that John McCain’s choice of her did not “put country first”.  Here’s video of his comments (his portion begins at about 3:24):

Although I disagree with him on one point, that PolarGirl’s foreign policy answers were “funny” (to me they were just as frightening as the rest), Zakaria hits the nail on the head when he says it’s not that she doesn’t know the answer, it’s that she didn’t understand the question.

Worse, if that can be imagined, is McCain’s recent excuse-making for PolarGirl when he called it “gotcha” journalism.

Bullshit.  If she can’t answer a question from a voter or REAL journalist (not the idiots and sycophants on Fox Noise), then she’s not ready to be dogcatcher, much less mayor, governor or vice president.

This is the most irresponsible, reckless, selfish and mean thing McCain has ever done to the country and to another person.  He should be ashamed of himself.

In the latest twist in this already twisted quadrennial whack-a-mole game of Presidential politics, the Obama and McCain campaigns have finally agreed to the debate formats for the presidential and vice presidential candidates.  As reported by the New York Times, while the presidential debates will feature a more free-flowing, freewheeling format that allows the candidates to directly question each other (that’s fair), the running mates’ debates will be far more structured:

At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.

McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.

Well isn’t that nice.  The McCain campaign is, no doubt, still mindful of the recent interview with Charles Gibson, which made their little cheerleader look oh, so knowledgeable:

And then there was Sean Hannity’s softball puff piece last week featuring a smiling, fawning, bootlicking Hannity throwing softballs at Palin in a format designed to make her look good and, no doubt, show her the “deference” the McCain campaign thinks she deserves.

This is ridiculous, of course.  The McCain campaign knows she’s not ready, but they’re hoping to use this format to fool the country into believing she is.  Oh, and they’re also hoping to use it as a chance to push more of McCain’s positions:

McCain advisers said they were only somewhat concerned about Ms. Palin’s debating skills compared with those of Mr. Biden, who has served six terms in the Senate, or about his chances of tripping her up. Instead, they say, they wanted Ms. Palin to have opportunities to present Mr. McCain’s positions, rather than spending time talking about her experience or playing defense.

Uh huh, right.  What they’re really worried about is more moments like this:

Yes, Alaska is close to Russia, and Russia was our main adversary for 70 years, ergo, everyone from Alaska has foreign policy experience.  Oh, and energy policy experience too.  Because of the oil, don’cha know?

No, better to protect their little hothouse flower from more self-inflicted embarrassment by strictly controlling the timing, structure and questioning of the debates she’ll participate in.

Folks, this only highlights the recklessness and carelessness of McCain’s choice of VP.  She’s not ready, she won’t be “ready by January”, and if, God forbid, she is called upon to assume the role of President, she won’t be ready to face down foreign dictators if she can’t handle a soft-pedaled questions from ABC News or a free-flowing debate format against her Democratic rival.  Kim Jong Il, Ahmadinejad, Putin, or any of the other foreign leaders wont “play nice” or be “deferential” to her.  They’ll eat her alive.  Unless she thinks they’ll be impressed by her “Don’t Blink” foreing policy doctrine.

We’ve already suffered through eight years of Bush-league politics.  We don’t need four more.  By putting a rank amateur in the second slot on his ticket, McCain has shown that his “Country First” slogan is nothing more than that – cheap electioneering.  McCain would rather win an election than do what’s best for the country.

And that, my friends, is the straight talk.

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”  – Sinclair Lewis

I’ll let this one speak for itself.  Just watch POW Jack try and weasel his way through an appearance on The View:

After watching Sarah Palin’s interview with Charles Gibson last night, I’ve come to the conclusion that that woman shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the White House unless she’s part of a tour group.  I’ve never seen a less prepared, less qualified, and more dangerous choice for Vice President.  She and Mr. Gibson discussed a lot of topics, but for me the most disheartening part of the interview was when he asked about her “foreign policy credentials.” She responded by repeating the line that because Alaska is close to Russia, that makes her experienced in foreign affairs:

PALIN: We have to keep our eyes on Russia. Under the leadership there.

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.

Ridiculous, as I have said previously.  If these are the standards McCain is setting for his administration (have the last eight years really lowered our expectations that much?), then God help us.  By this abysmally low requisite, any military person who’s been stationed in South Korea and visited the DMZ is qualified to be at least an ambassador.  I’ve actually stepped across the line in the negotiations room in Pyongyang!  That means I’ve been to North Korea; could I have a spot at the table?

Earlier, she was unable to define the Bush Doctrine of preemptive self-defense (hit them before they hit you), and Gibson had to explain it to her:

“The Bush Doctrine is we have the right to self-defense, pre-emptive strike against any country we think is going to attack us,” he noted. “Do you agree with it?”

“Charlie, if there is enough intelligent and legitimate evidence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country,” [Palin] said.

Strangely enough, this was actually an improvement on the Bush doctrine.  At least she would rely on legitimate information before bombing another country.  Though I’m not sure what “intelligent evidence” is.  Perhaps she was referring to intelligence.  But that’s being a bit optomistic.

Gibson also questioned her on her recent (July ’08) words in the Wasilla Assemblies of God church.  She said that she would “never presume to know the mind of God.”  For the record, her actual words from that service in July were

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she said. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

The interview was both frightening and disheartening.  Her answers, on the rare occasions when she managed to spit them out, were evasive and simplistic, entirely unworthy of a person who could reasonably be expected to one day command the largest military force in the world.  I cannot believe a man of McCain’s experience and knowledge would ask us to trust the future security of the nation to this untested, ignorant, inexperienced person.  This has nothing to do with her gender – there are many competent and eminently more qualified women McCain could should have chosen.  Instead he chose a complete unknown who didn’t even own a passport until a few weeks ago.  Either he’s not taking this election seriously, he’s not taking the future of the nation seriously, or he’s not taking the American people seriously.

I cannot begin to describe how angry I am at this.  The McCain campaign expects us to believe that this woman is actually qualified to be President.  For all their talk earlier this year about issues and substance, they’ve been running a campaign that could be described as Seinfeld-esque.  It’s about nothing.  Every day there’s a new attack ad focusing on yet another source of manufactured outrage.  They know if they focus on the issues they will lose, because there is no substance to their campaign.  And the choice of Sarah Palin proves it.

I hate to say it, but Matt Damon is right.  The whole thing reads like the plot to a really bad “Lifetime Original Movie”.  Only this is real life, and if Palin becomes President there won’t be a happy ending.  Does anyone seriously think Putin or Ahmadinejad are going to be impressed or, less likely deferential, to this so-called “hockey mom?”  Are they really going to buy the “I live close to Russia so I have foreign experience” line?  If you do, you’re an idiot.

Wake up, America.  This thing is more important than this.  Men and women are dying overseas, people are losing their homes, their jobs and their health at home, and the McCainiacs think non-issues like lipstick comments are of earthshaking importance.  It’s all bullshit.  They’re liars and frauds and they know it.  Wake up, America.  The future of our nation is far to important to be trusted to POW Jack and his plucky sidekick PolarGirl.

Wake up, America.  Before it’s too late.

Just when you thought the GOP couldn’t sink any lower, we have this report from Michigan.  Michigan, as you will recall, is one of the states worst affected by the housing and foreclosure crisis, and the black population there has been particularly hard-hit.  Take a look:

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voterprovided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”

Take note, Americans.  We can expect more of this sort of behavior in the next 6 weeks.