Tuesday, September 30, 2008

McCain To Suspend Again?

This morning, John McCain hit the morning shows in the wake of new polls which showed definite gains for Senator Obama. Among them was the uber-friendly waters of Fox News, where he did an interview that included a lot of tail-kissing and very questionable interpretations of his actions last week.

McCain answered with a scripted response (I know it was scripted because every time they asked him another question he started over with "I'll do whatever is necessary..." and repeated his talking points. It happened no less than three times.) that basically said that he would do it if it would help.

Help what? Barack Obama? Because that is all the last time accomplished. And how is he gonna suspend his campaign this time? Hey, Jay Leno! Do you have McCain on your schedule this week? Better call Keith Olberman and see if he can sub.

Because the only thing that John McCain suspended last week was appearing on David Letterman's show. His offices were all open. His advisers and subordinates were all out hitting the news shows. He gave an interview to Katie Couric at the time he was supposed to be talking to Dave, then gave a speech the next day, then finally showed up in Washington just barely in time for his photo op at the White House. Then all he did was shut up and look interested for the photographers until the very end, at which point he opened his mouth to present an alternative plan that had already been explored and condemned by Secretary Paulson, Warren Buffet and pretty much every person of financial knowledge willing to state an opinion.

Oh, except for Sen. Phil Gramm, his top financial adviser. The one who called America a nation of whiners. The one whose name is on the legislation that helped get us to this point. Yeah, that's credible. Next on McCain's agenda is apparently a conference with Britney Spears on how to keep his life calm and on track under media scrutiny.

Unless, of course, The campaign suspension really was what some have floated. A feint aimed at getting Barack to flinch and allow the first debate to be re-scheduled for this Thursday. Thereby bumping the Vice-Presidential debate off the schedule. Thereby keeping Sarah Palin from being exposed.

Obviously, that can not be accomplished now. We know the McCain camp is scared about Thursday. We know it because they have been out hitting the media in all shapes and forms over the last three days, attempting to lower expectations for Palin. It's actually a very wise strategy. The more everyone expects her to get her bell rung, the better she looks if she doesn't wilt under pressure. At this point, with how badly she is expected to fail, simply not fainting on stage is going to win her plaudits from the media and cause Fox News to proclaim her the victor.

Are they really so worried that they would suspend the campaign to cancel the debate outright? If so, they are going to disappoint an awful lot of people.

Especially the writers at Saturday Night Live.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate First Reaction: A Draw, Which Is A Win For Obama

I'm sure I'll talk much more about this later.

But my first reaction to tonight's presidential debate was about missed opportunities. I wanted Obama to hammer him. McCain said several things where I saw lies and and misrepresentations and all the same old John McCain things.

And then Barack would just kind of smile and say, "Well, John...That's not quite accurate."

It frustrated me. But then I remembered something. This is the one that McCain was supposed to win hands down. This was his strength. And if McCain was going to change the state of the race, he needed to score big tonight. He didn't.

In most polls, in this immediate and therefore incomplete aftermath, Obama is being said to have won a small victory. The one I have seen remarked upon the most actually has him with a very small margin over a tie, but a larger one over a McCain win. 40% Obama, 38% tie, 22% McCain.

But the things is, this was the foreign policy debate. This is the area where McCain's experience helps the most, this was the debate where the Obama camp worried about getting blown out. This was the one were McCain was expected to swing for the fences and maybe hit a grand slam.

And 78% of those polled thought it was pretty close or an Obama win.

That's significant. And the next debate? Palin vs. Biden. If she can't respond to Katie Couric, how is she gonna handle Joe Biden? Show him her swimsuit video?

A tie is a win, in this case.

Friday, September 26, 2008

John McCain Will Debate After All

The McCain campaign, after swooping into Washington a full day later then they said they would, after never suspending any aspect of a campaign they said they would and after making once-friendly David Letterman feel like an "ugly date," now says that they will, after all, attend the debate in Mississippi tonight.

Why? Wasn't the original purpose of John McCain "suspending" his campaign to be able to stay in Washington until this financial crisis was resolved? Does this mean it is resolved then?

Let's review. The "agreement in principle" that a bi-partisan committee had come up with before McCain arrived in Washington is floundering at best. House Republicans are still acting as blocking agents. McCain came into town, said very little and then backed a plan completely different from the one that had gendered support across the aisles, a plan that Secretary Paulson said "would not work." The largest bank failure in the history of the country happened overnight.

Nope. Problem definitely not resolved.

So then why is McCain back aboard the Debate train? Simply, really. Because the polls and the voice of the people yelled at him that he needs to be.

This whole thing was a grandstand ploy to try and make John McCain look heroic and responsible while also allowing him to avoid the extra attention of a debate during a time of plummeting polls and giving him additional prep time. This despite the fact that he has known when the debate was for just as long as Obama and that he once again, during that interview with Katie Couric when he was supposed to be on Letterman, has accused Obama of basically being mean to him by not giving him he "ten Town Hall's."

It's transparent. It's ridiculous. It got him ridiculed extensively for two nights by a man reputed to be one of the sharpest wits in America, who used to be enough of a friend that McCain announced his candidacy for President on his show. It made the people of the U.S. actively engage in conversation along the lines of "What the hell is he thinking?"

And it got him caught in one of the silliest accusations yet, when his team called the White House meeting a "shouting match" and tried to blame it on Obama (without ever saying they were trying to blame it on Obama, of course.) Really now, John. We're supposed to believe the guy that kept his cool through everything he has been faced with this year was the one that got into a shouting match, and the guy with the nasty temper who calls his wife things you can't repeat on television was the calm one. Um, your buddy George would say "That dog won't hunt."

Oh, but hey. At least it distracted everyone from noticing what a fool Sarah Plain looked like when Katie Couric asked about Alaska being next door to Russia again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Can You Smell The Desperation?

So, the latest news is that John McCain wants to suspend the presidential campaigns and the debate scheduled for Friday. He expects us to believe this is because of the severity of the economic crisis. He says that his presence is needed in Washington.

What are you going to do now, John? After all, you've shown such a firm grasp of the situation so far. The fundamentals of the economy are strong, right John? All that your presence in Washington is going to do is pull some bright young mind that could be actually working on the problem away from his desk so that he can try to educate you on what's really going on.

You couldn't be bothered to be in Washington for months. Ted Kennedy got back to the senate after a brain operation, defying doctors orders, to vote on a Medicare bill that failed by a single vote. Not Obama's. He was there on July 9th, voting. The missing man was John McCain.

Truth is, John McCain has not been in the senate in five months.

The real truth is this. John McCain's campaign is teetering on the brink of disaster. And that disaster is primarily because of the economy. Of course John wants to suspend the debate and the campaign. For him to go into that atmosphere with Barack Obama on Friday would be like Roman Polansky showing up at the Oscars. Just plain stupid.

Seen last nights ABC News poll? John McCain obviously has. Barack Obama, 52%. John McCain, 43%. Do you think we're stupid, John? Start telling the truth, the birds are sizing up that growing nose for a nest.

The people of the United States deserve to see how you respond in a crisis if you want to be President. Right now, it looks like John McCain is still reading My Pet Goat.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What's Old Is New Again. Remember The Keating Five.

Investors are losing millions. A lending crisis brought on by deregulation, poor decision making and lobbyists has scared and angered the American people. And a man with hopes to be President is right in the middle of it, with a friend and adviser who is the head of one of the worst offenders.

John McCain, judging by his new ad, wants you to think we are talking about 2008 and his opponent. We're not. We are talking about the Savings and Loan crisis of the late eighties and early nineties. The man who hopes to be President is John McCain and the friend and adviser is Charles Keating.

John McCain wants us to forget. He wants us to give him the reigns so that he can steer us out of trouble. But John McCain is the last person we should trust when it comes to financial scandal. Because John has been there before, and we should be using that phrase his buddy George Bush so memorably screwed up. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

America, don't get fooled again.

John McCain would like you to believe he was exonerated. He was not. What happened was that they couldn't find evidence showing that he had done anything more than intimidate with his presence and with things that were barely true but were, after all, a little bit true and thus hard to claim as being prosecutable falsehoods. That sounds familiar, doesn't it?

At the end, John McCain was found to be officially guilty of poor judgment. He was not prosecuted further because he paid for the free flights and vacations given to him by Charles Keating and because he was able to claim that it was his wife's money that was invested with Keating, not his. You know, like how his wife owns all those houses and thus he doesn't know about them.

And he paid the U.S. Treasury $112,000.00 in order to offset the campaign contributions he had received from Keating.

John McCain was at the center of what many called the worst example of Senate corruption since Teapot Dome. John McCain helped Charles Keating attempt, unsuccessfully, to brazen through an investigation and drag out a situation which resulted in Charles Keating's investors, who were primarily older people who had invested for retirement, losing over one hundred eighty million dollars with no hope of recovery.

And although John McCain survived, he was far from blameless. Not in my opinion, not in the opinion of the investigators and not in the opinion of his homestate media. I present to you the words of Tom Fitzpatrick from The Phoenix New Times November 29, 1989.

Link to the original article.

"You're John McCain, a fallen hero who wanted to become president so desperately that you sold yourself to Charlie Keating, the wealthy con man who bears such an incredible resemblance to The Joker. (skip ahead)

Since Keating's collapse, you find yourself doing obscene things to save yourself from the Senate Ethics Committee's investigation. As a matter of course, you engage in backbiting behavior that will turn you into an outcast in the Senate if you do survive.(skip)

Those who survive will be the sociopaths who can tell a lie with the most sincere, straight face. You are especially adept at this.(skip)

It was a sobering scene. There you sat with Glenn, both sweating before the cameras, waiting to answer questions: two badly tarnished American icons.

No one forgets that Glenn was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. You won't let anyone forget that you were a prisoner of war. But you have played that tune too long. By now your constant reminders about your war record make you seem like a modern version of Arthur Miller's tragic failure Willy Loman.

Clearly, both you and Glenn sold your fame for Charles Keating's money.

It was a Faustian bargain. It was also a bad joke on the rest of us and a disaster for many old people who lost their life's savings to Keating.(skip)

Perhaps you might silence your own conscience about all this someday.

Just keep telling everyone that it was your wife's money invested in that shopping center with Keating and that you knew nothing about it.(skip)

Keep telling them that it wasn't that you were bought off but that Charlie Keating got special help only because he was one of the biggest employers in the state.

Just keep sitting there and staring into the camera and denying that Keating bought you for money and jet plane trips and vacations.

So what if he gave you $112,000? Just keep smiling at the cameras and saying you did nothing wrong.

Maybe the voters will understand you took those tiring trips to Charlie's place in the Bahamas in their behalf. Certainly, they can understand you wanted to take your family along. A senator deserves to travel on private jets, removed from the awful crush of public transportation.

You sought out a master criminal like Keating and became his friend. Now you've discarded him. It shouldn't be surprising that you are now in the process of selling out your senatorial accomplices.

You're John McCain, clearly the guiltiest, most culpable and reprehensible of the Keating Five.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More Evidence of McCain's Ever-Shifting POV

I've said before that I don't care about a politician changing their position on an issue but that it disturbs me greatly when they change positions on ethics or character.

I would define something like beliefs about what experience is and what qualifies a person to be trusted to make wise decisions on national matters to be more of the latter.

The best, and funniest, political commentary is when a politician's own words are used against them. This is one of the reasons that I found the Jon Stewart piece on The Daily Show so funny. The one where he caught Karl Rove dissing Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and compared it to Rove's endorsement of Sarah Palin.

I find it less funny when it's the actual Presidential candidate. Especially when he is selling himself as being honest, a maverick and an agent of change.

This is video from a Republican debate in October 2007. John McCain is talking about Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney in this clip. Please remember while watching this that New York City has a population of 8 million. A million people for every 900 that lived in Wasilla while Sarah Palin was mayor. Mitt Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts and served a full four year term. The Boston metropolitan area, just part of the state, has a population of 4.5 million compared to Alaska's 670,000 and Palin has served for less than half a term.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day To Remember

Seven years since the world stopped moving and stared at their televisions in shock and tears. Seven years since those horrible images and unimaginable bravery. Seven years since the United States got a better understanding of how people in Europe and Israel have felt for so very long.

To this day, I remain in awe of the way that the Police and Fire Departments of New York performed in the face of terror. Of how those brave individuals went up those stairs while everyone else was running down. Of the men and women who rushed to help at the Pentagon. Of the passengers and flight attendants of Flight 93 who realized what was happening and chose to go down fighting, ordinary people without training or a duty to perform, who chose death rather than allow anyone else to be hurt.

To this day, simply murmuring "Let's Roll" brings a flush of emotion to my face and forces me to choke down both tears and overwhelming pride in my fellow Americans.

I will not politicize this day, although the part of me that feels we have strayed from a path that would prevent another attack wants me to do so. But there are no men and women in service to this nation who do not want to prevent that horror from reoccurring. That we may differ on how to achieve that goal is very normal, and let's face it, very American.

But we should also realize that September 11 is not a day when only America grieves. It was called the World Trading Center for a good reason. Nationals of over 90 countries died that day. The attack may have been on America, but it impacted the entire world.

Over 200,000 Germans marched in support of both the United States and all who lost citizens and friends; wives, husbands and children. Le Monde's headline read "We Are All Americans."

Today is not a day about the red stripes in our flag, but about the red blood shed from all over the world. Yes, it is also right and proper that we honor our own and also that we celebrate the spirit of our nation.

Let us never forget any of the victims, regardless of their citizenship. September 11, 2001 was a horrible day for all of the human race.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of us who were hurt that day and most especially with the families and friends of all those whose lives ended that day, whether doing their duty or just their job.

Never Forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

McCain's New Ad Bypasses Gutter and Jumps In The Septic Tank

John McCain has released an ad that just goes too far.

Referencing a bill from the Illinois Legislature that set up funding to teach kids what kinds of touching were inappropriate and to get a teacher or parent when someone tried to touch them there, McCain is saying that Barack Obama wants to teach sex ed to kindergartners.

John, the reason you didn't want to talk about your honor to Time magazine is obvious now. Many people don't like to talk about the girl they broke up with while the wound is still fresh.

John McCain said he was going to run a different kind of campaign. He pledged truth. Heralded the arrival of the "Straight Talk Express" and spent a lot of time trying to act like a defender of truth, justice and the American Way.

Superman isn't real, John. He is as mythical as your sense of fairplay, your sense of honor and your morality.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Even When Disputing Facts, McCain/Palin Are Deceptive

Recognizing the dangerous effect of the revelations that Sarah Palin once inquired as to a method of how to ban books, the campaign for John McCain/Sarah Palin today is disputing a list of books that has appeared on the internet as being the ones that she tried to ban.

The truth is, no list was ever submitted and no books were ever banned. That is a fact.

But the tack that the campaign is taking is that because no books were ever banned and because the list is false, that means that Palin never had any thoughts about banning books. They say this even while admitting that Palin requested information on HOW to ban books. But they say the request was "rhetorical" and try to pass it off as an isolated and casual conversation.

The truth is that the reason Sarah Palin never banned books is because a woman took a stand. Mary Ellen Emmons told Palin in no uncertain terms that she would not allow books to be banned. And not just on one occasion, as the campaign would have you believe. Emmons says that Palin asked for information on the subject at least three times, including once before she was ever sworn in as mayor. The "single rhetorical question" defense stems from the fact that Palin only asked this question once as a matter of public record.

That should be scary enough... that a mayor of any American city would, on public record, ask a librarian how she would go about banning books. It scares me.

For the record, Sarah Palin DID fire Mary Ellen Emmons. As part of what Plain described as a "loyalty" purge. In fact, she first requested Emmons resignation in October 1996, then actually fired her on Jan. 30, 1997.

She rehired both Emmons and the Chief of Police (fired the same date) on the following day. Emmons then remained in her position for two and a half years.

It amazes me that the Republicans believe this is a defense. Does anyone really believe that the firing of public officials on Jan. 30, 1997 was not all about sending a message? Should people who have done nothing wrong in their work be fired because they are not "loyal" to an official?

I believe that Sarah Plain was prevented from banning books by the stand of a courageous librarian who put her job on the line. I further believe that no one in the United States who has faithfully and properly performed their duties should have to worry about retaining their job and livelihood simply because their new boss doesn't think they are "loyal" to her.

If you do your job the way it is supposed to be done, you should keep it.

If someone asks about the mechanism for banning books three separate times, they are probing, not being rhetorical.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Are Fannie & Freddie "Fundamentally Strong", John?

As dismaying as it may be to see the pattern of Federal bailouts continue, the reason that both Barack Obama and John McCain agree on the actions of the Shrub Administration in the housing market is because we have little choice in the matter unless we are willing to endure a repeat of 1930 to 1935. Even the hint of that kind of an economic downturn is disastrous, and being willing to risk it will not win votes.

The same is true of the Bear-Stearns bailout from earlier this year, and the same will be true if it happens with Detroit, as some feel that it will.

Indeed, Obama is already using the idea of providing Federal assistance to help automakers retool as a part of his campaign. An idea that I support not because I believe in the government helping save a foolish private entity from a financial disaster of it's own making but because it will help bring greater fuel efficiency to the American automobile market quicker than almost any other approach. The result of that will be directly beneficial to all of us, and since I will be in the market for a hybrid vehicle in the next few years (my beloved Pathfinder is starting to enter that "constant investment" part of it's lifecycle) it will be good for me personally.

Remember basic Econ 101... if the supply of a commodity remains constant and the demand for it lessens, price will drop. Of course, that's assuming supply remains constant. Knowing how wonderfully socially conscious and mindful of the public good our beloved oil companies are, I worry about whether it will actually happen. But it is worth trying.

But back to where I was originally headed. The housing crisis is now reaching proportions of magnitude where comparisons to the Great Depression are no longer ridiculous. That is not a good thing, obviously. Some estimates I've seen this weekend were that by years end, nine percent of homes could be in foreclosure.

Let me repeat that. In capital letters. NINE PERCENT. Go down your street and start counting. Every time you reach ten, imagine the next home has a "For Sale, Bank Owned" sign in front of it.

This is an immense danger to the economic well-being of the United States. And since money affects everything, it is also a threat to national security and employment, etc. The government stepped in to save the mortgage underwriting apparatus of our nation because if those feet of clay crumble, the statue that falls will not only shatter but the resulting debris will crush apparently unrelated industries. (Witness the results of the bailout in the Stock Market for evidence that I am not the only one believing this.)

And yet, two of the people running for the nations highest offices show zero understanding of the dangers. G.I. John and Caribou Barbie don't get it, even now.

John McCain has not recanted his statement that the fundamentals of the economy are strong and even Jay Leno couldn't get an actual answer from him related to housing. And the fact that John owns multiple homes that could only be called "investment properties" makes that even more glaring. I realize the McCain wants to avoid any and all discussion of the issue because every mention of it reminds voters of his most serious malaprop comment yet.

But a time of crisis is not a time to avoid questions because you're afraid of speaking up again. This is not grade school, John. You are running for President. You can't afford to sit there in class, refusing to raise your hand and trying to hide behind the pigtails of the little girl sitting in front of you. I don't care if the kids laughed at you last time. Show me some of that courage you supposedly have in such great supply. This is not a time for you to enter your second childhood, or your second shot at second grade.

As for the girl he is hiding behind? Her response was that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had gotten "too big and too expensive to the taxpayers" (from a speech in Colorado Springs.) Governor Palin needs someone to tell her that these are private companies and that the implicit backing of the federal government has never before been realized. How can Caribou Barbie be expected to govern if she doesn't even know whether or not a company is part of the government? It's like she was saying that Hummer had become a liability to the Army, not knowing that Hummer was a part of General Motors.

It's scary to me how little actual knowledge either of these candidates show. Yet, there they are in the polls, actually in striking distance of Obama/Biden. Why is that America?

I wish that the average voter would do a little bit of research... something besides watching TV commercials. Here's a hint, sheeple. If the message includes someone saying their name and that they approved it, it's biased!

(a tip of the hat to a comment on Americablog by Asphyxia8, from which I "stole" the phrase Caribou Barbie. It made me smile so much I had to use it.)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Real McCain of Genius

I find myself wanting to embed things more and more often lately... I see clips from Jon Stewart and videos of songs I like that the artists are mad about certain people using...

But I usually resist... because, you know, this blog is supposed to be about original thinking. Not about parroting the stuff other people make up. I leave that to my Republican friends.

But this is just too classic. I love it. From worsethanbush.org, here is Real McCain of Genius, a fun political parody of the beer ads.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Library-Gate: What Does It Mean?

So now it's all over the internet. Yep, back when she first took office as the mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin used her position to try and get the city librarian to remove certain books from the shelves.

It will be talked about. We will hear pundits spouting off about what happened and why it does or does not matter. And lots of their opinions will be valid and important.

But you know what? None of it matters to me.

Why? Because one thing is clear. Whether or not she was successful, or just curious, or just interested in pursuing an agenda on behalf of her constituents... Saah Palin inquired about what it would take to ban books.

And we are not talking about Mein Kampf or the latest issue of Hustler.

One of the most intense changes brought about by the American experiment was that every publication did not have to pretend to support the government or it's moral positions.

We tend to forget this. That men like Thomas Paine were risking a rope around their neck and a short drop with a sudden stop when they talked about freedom. Sure, there is a difference because no one is talking about hanging Maya Angelou. But the basic principle is the same. No one should fear to speak their mind.

But the librarian in Wasilla took on Sarah Palin. And she is not the librarian there any more. She weathered the first storm. And maybe the second or third. But eventually, she quit fighting. Now, she isn't returning phone calls to the New York Times or the Boston Herald or Time Magazine. Official word is that she is on vacation. What is that? People don't often give up their fifteen minutes of fame. At least, not without a damn good reason.

Sorry, folks. An apology to those of you who want to see this woman Palin as a change, as a chance to move forward. I'm sorry because the more I hear about her past, the more I think that she is a step back rather than a step forward.

I don't want some token in the VP slot. I don't care if she has breasts.

I want someone who is truly progressive. And Sarah Palin is looking like a throwback right now, not a step forward.

I reserve the right to say I was wrong. But I don't think I am.

Sarah Palin's Acceptance Speech

I'm trying... I really am. I want to be non-partisan, I want to be open to all points of view. And I am reading all these people talking about Sarah Palin and how she did so well speaking tonight. And I'm listening and reading... and I want her to do well in many ways.

She is a good speaker, well, pretty good. I expected that. She beat an incumbent Governor in the Republican primary in Alaska. I figured that would take some doing, you know?

But I read it first. Then I watched it. And I'm watching it again. And what I find is... well, not much.

There were lots of token references... and a lot of veiled criticisms, hiding behind statements that had built in, as Independence Day quotes would have it, "plausible deniability." You know, kinda like George Bush talking about appeasement.

And then there were the outright lies and the outright insults.

She talks a good game maybe... in front of a partisan crowd, with everyone on her side. In front of all those people that look and think like her. (oh, look... veiled insult with plausible deniability *wink*) Hey, isn't that kinda like "dramatic speeches before devoted followers?"

She called herself an advocate for special needs children... and offered nothing about how or why she could claim the title. Well, let me tell you something... I know a real advocate, I'm in love with a real advocate and you Mrs. Palin are no Alessia Brio.

She dares to mention that there are "some candidates who use change to promote their careers" after trying to lay claim to that title just days ago when she was introduced in Ohio. And says it as she accepts a spot on the ticket of a man who has changed almost every single position he ever held that was contrary to the platitudes of the people whose approval he now seeks so desperately.

She dares to claim that she will fight the oil companies in a speech where she trumpets that her husbands works for them and that she has every intention of letting them do whatever they want in Northern Alaska.

And then she finishes by hitting all the little talking points that she was told to hit... and offers not a single specific. She paints a powerful picture. With lies. With generalities. With exactly what we should expect. Fear and distraction, insult and divisiveness.

You want to impress me? Quit stealing parts of your speeches from your opponent and the rest from big-budget blockbusters. Get real, get specific.

And finally, Mrs. Palin, let me clear you up on one more point. Until this year, it wasn't "congress" who "fought the prospect of a McCain presidency - from the primary election of 2000 to this very day."

It was your fellow Republicans. Especially the current President... Who John McCain seems to think is right more than 90% of the time.

Well, maybe this time W was right. For once.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Violence In Minnesota At The RNC

As we were preparing for the Democratic Convention, I kept hearing things about the possibility of violent protests, and the preparations the Denver police had made, etc. The climate of the country, the war, the anniversary of 1968 in Chicago were all mentioned. I heard very little to nothing about such preparations or issues for the Republican Convention.

And after the Democrats had an almost idyllic convention experience, I heard even less.

Why? In hindsight, it would seem obvious that the party the crowd most likely to protest is angry with is the Republicans. They are the ones in control during this war, like the Democrats were in 1968. They are the ones who have been in charge while the country went to hell in a handbasket.

And unfortunately, their mindset is the one with the history of forgiving overzealous action on the part of authority figures and demonizing zealousy from those who oppose their point of view.

So I suppose I should have seen this coming. But I didn't. Worse, in another example of the seeming inability of much of the mainstream press to give equal coverage to Republican miscues as they do to Democratic ones (Repeat after me: Czechoslovakia is no longer in existence. Please remember this now, John.) I have seen very little in the mainstream media about the violence at the RNC. Yet there have been multiple atrocious incidents. Pepper Spray used indiscriminately. A reporter and her cameraman violently arrested. C'mon now...you might have missed the press credential or even, in a stretch, the microphone. But the cameraman? Since when do we arrest the press for covering a story in the United States of America?

But the one that has me most shocked is the brutal mistreatment of a seventeen year old boy from Milwaukee.

Inside the Convention, Pharisee-like cries of anguish over the "mistreatment" of a pregnant seventeen-year old girl. Mistreatment that I have yet to see come from the Democrats, by the way, despite the tearing of sackccloth and wearing of ashes on the podium.

Outside, a vicious beating of this young man, completely ignored.

The link follows. Please be warned, there are photographs and they are not pretty.


Please, do not allow this to go unnoticed. Five police officers can carry a limp seventeen year old to the side of the road quite easily. And I personally am reminded that leadership and culture flows down from the top. I can not see Barack Obama ignoring this were it brought to his attention. I fear I can not say the same about John McCain, and I believe that this mindset flowed all the way to the authority figures on the streets.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Leave Palin's Daughter Alone! (Her Family Is Not The Problem.)

As a writer who has left no doubt in previous posts who I am supporting for President, You might imagine I have something to say about John McCain's running mate and the fact that her seventeen year old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant.

I do. Leave Bristol Palin alone! As the candidate I support said, peoples families should be off limits and people's children should be especially off limits.

It proves nothing about anything that Bristol is pregnant. Her parents didn't want this anymore than any parents want that kind of stress.

I have plenty of issues with McCain's choice for VP, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. I find it hard to believe that a party who relentlessly pointed out Barack Obama's inexperience throughout August then somehow found the one VP Candidate LESS experienced.

Oh, but she has executive experience, they say. Sure, of a town of 9000. Oh, and a few months in charge of a state with a smaller population than the city that John McCain forgot to pay his property taxes in for four and a half years.

And that is just the top of the barrel. I could go on, and will later, but I fear blunting my other message.

The private internal issues of her family are not our business, at least not in this case or in general. Yes, I agree that if we were talking to Sarah Palin specifically about her position of teaching abstinence or about pre-marital sex or single mothers, then I can see it being relevant in a limited fashion.

But whether or not her teenage daughter acted like, well, a teenager... that has nothing to do with Sarah Palin's ability to lead or her qualifications (or lack of them) for the position that she has been asked to fill.

So back off and leave the girl alone!