Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Green(around the gills)span

Ah, these are hard times indeed.
Mr Greenspan, arguably the most powerful man in America for a decade or so, regretfully admits he made a mistake.

"… on Thursday, almost three years after stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform".
(Today, New York Times)

He's shocked, shocked to find out gambling is going on here.

I'm going to quote myself:
"Deregulate! they said. The market will correct itself and the economy will be strong. They said that a free market, unfettered by government rules and regulations is the best way to promote prosperity and financial health for all Americans.

Those people are idiots".
(Blog post of September 14—"We don't need no stinkin' economy")

Sure you can trust Institutions to look after their own self-interest. I'd say that's just what they were doing. Stuffing the vaults.

Actually speaking like that is wrong. There is a language problem here. One that Greenspan fell victim to. It's in speaking of "institutions" as if they were unitary beings, creatures complete in themselves. And forgetting that institutions are actually made up of fallible, often greedy and easily misled human beings.

"This institution will look after it's own self-interest and make responsible loans, it will protect the shareholders who trust it." That's talking like a bank or other lending institution is equivalent to a father looking after his family.
But what if Dad had limbs with brains and desires of their own? The left hand would be putting some food on the table while the right hand was raiding the freezer for steaks to sell at a profit, excusing it's actions with the idea that with the money it could buy more steaks at a cheaper market. After taking it's commission of course.

An institution isn't a thing. It's people.
And not all of those people are smart or honest or impervious to temptation.That's why we NEED REGULATION!

Where was I going? Oh yeah, we should try to change our vocabulary to reflect the fact that institutions are not monolithic beings but a collection of beings, not all of whom are working for the same goals, not all of whom are competent or honest or smart.

Sort of like Congress.
Tha's all for now.
Good night all of you.
(I think I'm up to three regulars now)

Saturday, October 25, 2008


First— I've been out of commission for a bit because of a serious "family" situation. But now I'm back.

Great news on CNN.COM. McCain people think that Sarah Palin is "going rogue" on them, not sticking to the program, venting her own opinions.


If that's not a prescription for disaster (remember I don't use clichés—ho, ho) I don't know what is.

Now I don't want anyone to think that I feel that a female candidate needs to be shepherded along the campaign trail lest she stub her little weak feminine toe. I'm all for people of any sex (straight, bi, gay, trans—whatever) expressing their opinions. I'm especially in favor of Sarah Palin expressing hers. I would be and I am in favor of Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Bachman of Minnesota who wants to investigate all us "un-Americans," also expressing theirs. And Joe "going on forever with his foot in his mouth" Biden also.

And I desperately want all those white guys in suits to be publically expressing their opinions.

Think "reality show."

"Several McCain advisors" have said that Palin is "going rogue" on them. (Aren't I putting the "quotes" key thru its paces tonight?)
"Going rogue."
I love it.
The real Sarah is coming out at last and isn't she a thing of beauty?

According to the unnamed advisors:
She doesn't like that the campaign pulled out of Michigan.
She's a "diva."
She thinks those robocalls are "annoying."
Holy smoke, she and I agree on something! OMG!
I'm going to have to talk to my therapist!

Just kidding. I would have used a stronger word to describe those robocalls.

Now what did you expect, hmm?
That she would be a good little soldier?

She's being Sarah, and I love it.
I'm not even going to dump on her for the $150 large wardrobe. I mean, did you expect her to campaign in mukluks and a parka?
Gimme a break.
Besides, I loved those knee-high black boots I saw her wearing in a news clip.
Oh Sarah, those legs in those boots, let those boots walk all over— uh, excuse me, sorry—got carried away for a moment there. Heh. You didn't see that.

Moving on.

She is dragging the McCain campaign down. Not that he needed any help.
Poor Johnny Mac has been nose-diving for the basement ever since he got the nomination. He complains about being called "erratic." But what else can you say?
It's almost as if there is a conspiracy, of which he is a part, to get Obama elected. I mean, can someone REALLY be so removed from reality? Without being certifiable?

I feel sorry for the poor sucker. But I still hope he loses. How long will he last before there is a President Palin?

If that doesn't scare you, you are dead. Go lie down.

Funny tidbit from the Rachel Maddow show (on MSNBC—she's a hometown girl and I promote her shamelessly)—the highest paid person in the McCain campaing this past month was Palin's hairdresser and make-up person.
Hey, you have to establish your priorities.
What's important is what's important.

It is what it is.

What Sarah wants, Sarah gets.

I've heard that :
A. McCain chose her because the Republican estab. forced him to get someone who would appeal to the rubber-room fringe of the Republican party; or
B. That he chose her to show the Republican powers-that-be that a far-right candidate was poison and that they would dump her and allow him his own choice. Like Joe Lieberman.

If that's the case it didn't work.

Now Johnny Mac's stuck with her. But she's not stuck with him, nossir. She and Todd are aiming for the White House, not now, but there is always 2012.

Yeah. Put money on it.
I had thought she would eat up the established Republican party apparatus, but at this point I say it's 50—50 and I'm not taking anymore bets.
G'nite you two.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

He said, He said

Debate so far:

McCain says people are angry, said it a couple times. Took a while to get to answering the question. Then he talked about Joe the Plumber and how Obama was going to raise his taxes, and spread his, Joe's, wealth around. He kept going on about how Obama was going to raise taxes, ignoring Obama's assertion that he was going to reduce taxes for 95% of the people.

This is a better debate, these guys can argue with each other.
Bob Schieffer asks about specifics of their plans, Obama answers. McCain borrows from Palin's answering tactics and starts talking about mortgages. Prodded back to question he spent sometime saying he knew how to cut spending, had to be prodded to specifics again.
Brought up earmarks, and Obama voted for them.
Obama responds that earmarks are only half percent and not major expense.
McCain says Americans are hurting and they're angry, and he understands that.
He's becoming a broken record.

McCain seems to be relying on his political ad slogans instead of argument.

A few of the "he said" vs "he said" stuff.
McCain says Obama not standing up to his leaders.

Will they say to each other's face what their ads say about each other?
McCain hasn't answered the question. Says Obama has spent more money on neg ads
Obama doesn't directly answer either. Says 100% of McCain's ads are negative.
McCain trying desperately to make Obama look bad, less trying to make his policies look bad.
Exchange about John Lewis—McCain's feelings hurt. Lewis was out of line, Obama says his campaign said that immediately. But also pointed out what had been yelled at the Palin rally which angered Lewis.

Obama crushes McCain on Ayers and Acorn. Points out falsity of McCain attack.

McCain reiterates, then goes to say he will not raise taxes like Obama.

Why would the country be better off if Obama's running mate becomes president than if McCain's becomes president.

Obama has an easy time with Biden—foreign policy experience, working man background, on right side of issues.

McCain says Palin a role model for women, fought with her own party, gave money to citizens, faced down oil companies, understands special needs families. He's proud of her.

McCain says Biden wrong on some foreign policies. Obama more gracious on Palin—it's up the voters. Ducked the question.

Free Trade— McCain continues practice of attacking Obama more than explaining his own policies.

McCain wants to put health care info on line—apparently means "computerize."

McCain brings up the "fine" on small business (Joe the Plumber). Says, basically, Obama trying to spread Joe the Plumber's wealth around. Obama rebuts.

McCain keeps up with the fine business. He ignores Obama's rebuttals. Keeps pushing his $5000 "gift" for health care.

McCain wants to improve teaching but wants ex-service people to be able to go into teaching without taking the certification tests.
That'll make for better teachers, you betcha.

I think McCain tried hard but only scratched Obama.
Obama did well at deflecting the attacks.

NPR commentators:
good debate, not likely to change opinions. Obama gets his goals, to look creditable.
McCain fails to change that.

Okay, let's see if I can talk in complete sentences. I think that McCain came out looking feistier than he has in the past, but didn't do much more in first half or so than repeat his campaign ad charges. I think he started off shakier, but maybe got madder later and it focused him. But he consistently let Obama's rebuttals of his charges slide by without rebutting the rebuttal.
He looked feistier but not smarter.

Chilling moment: during the debate on abortion he said that considering the health of the mother was an "extreme" position of the pro-abortion crowd.
EXCUSE ME? Considering the mother's health is extreme?
Sorry ladies, according to Johnny Mac, if giving birth might kill or disable you, too bad, you're toast. Way it goes.


Obama did well in answering his questions and rebutting McCain. McCain did a lot of punching but mostly hit air. Obama still looks like the man with the plan. McCain still looks like he's winging it. If someone is already in favor of one or the other candidate, I don't think anything that happened here will change his or her mind.

Funny line—one of the NPR people said they were looking forward to the Palin-Joe the Plumber ticket in 2012.
Amazingly, I say amazingly, NO ONE said "I was struck by…"

They must've got my email…

That's all.
I had to listen to this and no hootch in the house to soften the blow. It'd be enough to drive me to drink if I had any. I'm going to bed.

You who read me, both of you, go to sleep too.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gee-Seven worst days in Wall Street History

The Pres has met with the other leaders of the G-7 group, the world's leading economies— Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States of America—and the future is still grim. they met, they schmoozed, but no concrete plans have yet emerged. "The G-7 agrees today that the current situation calls for urgent and exceptional action," the leaders, who are meeting in Washington D.C., said in a statement.

Well, this makes me feel better.

Incidentally, what's Italy doing in there? Isn't their economy basically run by the Mafia? And where's China?

Anyway even the Pres finally understands the Sh!te is hitting the fan. "Bush seemed to acknowledge that the lag is feeding anxiety on Wall Street. "These extraordinary efforts are being implemented as quickly and as effectively as possible," he said. "The benefits will not be realized overnight."
I got this from the Yahoo news.

The Pres says that the G-7 will "stand together" to work out this financial crisis.
Again, I feel a lot better.
In the meantime, Paulson is letting on that the gov't. may be buying shares in US banks, that is, effectively nationalizing our banking system.

Hmmm. "Nationalizing." Where have I heard this term before?

By God! We're all becoming Communists! O the Humanity!

Heh. It took a Republican president to go to China (Nixon, for the historically challenged) and now it takes a Republican president to lead us into socialism.

Me, i don't think a little socialism is a bad thing.
But like anything else, one doesn't want to go overboard.

Aren't these exciting times? Don't you wish they weren't?

Meantime, the Palin Person has been charged with abusing her power. Unfortunately it's within the lette of the law, but as usual in these situations, it is certainly in violation of the spirit.
Actually it's her hubby who is the major player here.

Hmm. Can you think of another political woman with a problem husband?

Enough. It's too late to be complaining, even for me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Debate

Perhaps, instead of praying for an alien abduction for myself, I should have been praying for alien abduction for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Pretty slow at first, I don't like the format of this debate. They should have a question to bat back and forth, but it seems that they just get one shot, or even different questions. I'd like to hear them make responses to each other. As it is they spend half their time sniping at each other before answering the questions, if they answer the questions at all. Halfway through the debate and a real answer has been as rare as the spotted owl.

To me, a real debate is one in which a question is posed, and the first candidate gives an answer, explaining that his attention-deficit-disordered, probably autistic opponent wouldn't understand the issues. Then the second candidate responds by saying that his worthy and esteemed opponent is an asshat who bought his way through college and is a noted libertine who couldn't explain the working of a toaster much less the working of the economy, and then he gives his answer to the question. Then the first candidate responds by saying that his friend and colleague, the thrice-divorced, possibly homosexual, suspected child-molester is totally wrong and this is why. And finally the second contestant, oops, I mean candidate, responds to the response by saying that his long-time bosom buddy and fellow politician, who he respects deeply and with whom he has worked closely in Congress, has misinterpreted and twisted his response, which you would totally expect from a bi-polar, drug-addled, former white-slaver.

I'd love to hear a debate like that. I believe they used to have them a century or two ago. I mean, wouldn't it be a hell of a lot more interesting? It's a sign of the decline of western civilization that our politicians can't even insult each other in creatively malicious ways. The cowards leave it up to anonymous internet bloggers. Another example of computers and the web degrading human existence.

McCain is good at putting a certain emphasis and emotion into his voice. Keeps saying "my friends." It does a lot to cover up his mendacity. Although, he did do Obama a favor by getting him pissed over the health care issues and the associated taxes. Brokaw didn't let Obama answer right away but he got his response into the next question. Obama said that it looked like the "Straight Talk Express" has lost a wheel. Best thing was that tho he was clearly unhappy he didn't go overboard. There's a good way to do anger and a bad way. He did the good way.

I'm not all that enchanted by the questions the audience asked.
First question about what the candidates would do to protect people's retirement plans. McCain is going to have the Secretary of the Treasury buy up bad home loan mortgages and have the Sec. renegotiate them. Uh, well, what about my social security, you know, the question?

In answer to a question about whether or not they would give Congress a fixed date to reform Social Security and Medicare, Obama said he would like to do it within his first term said that couldn't be done without addressing tax policies. Obama rejected the McCain's charge that he would raise taxes, i.e. "fine," small businesses. His proposal would reduce tax on 95% of Americans, including those small businesses.

McCain said, "It's not that hard to fix Social Security." Ayup. So why hasn't it been fixed already?

Obama has to lose that "…and…" Of course his hesitations come from actually thinking about the question, not spouting pre-packaged answers like McCain. Did McCain memorize all those? I don't think they allow teleprompters in there.

Example of McCain's fact-twisting: he accused Obama of saying he would announce an attack on Pakistan. And that that annoucement would turn the people against us. Not only did Obama not say that, but it is the UNANNOUNCED attacks we have already made, which have cost many civilian casualties, which is turning the Pakistanis against us.

Mostly McCain repeats his sound bites, usually distorted or downright inaccurate, against Obama. He was protected by the non-response format. When Obama protested about the nonsense McCain was saying over the Iraq-Pakistani question and forced Brokaw to agree to a temporary back and forth, I think Obama came out better. McCain lost his way briefly, started talking about joking about Iran with a fellow veteran, then lost and dropped it without a resolution.
Anyway it was one of the few interesting parts of this debate, which wasn't really a debate, since there wasn't any statement and response.

McCain had a little zinger about health care, said he wouldn't allow "gold-plated benefits like hair transplants." Ouch. Joe Biden's ears must have been burning.

Brokaw asks a "yes or no" question about whether or not Russia is an "evil empire", neither of them could do it. McCain got a laugh with "maybe". Both gave lengthy answers, basically saying "no…but."

If Iran attacks Israel, would we go in to help Israel? Yes, probably.

McCain brought up the "meeting with enemies" charge. Obama did a good job explaining himself against that charge. He sounded more grounded in that question than McCain.

Last question, "What don't you know and how will you learn it?" From New Hampshire. Where do they find these people? Was this a transplanted hippie or one of the six-toed crowd up in the mountains? I vote for a yoga-ing Birkenstocker. Obama said a lot without answering. McCain at least said he didn't know the future, then went on to his own particular set of platitudes.

Linda Wertheimer says it was an interesting debate and is looking forward to the discussion after the station break. It was something but it wasn't a real debate.

I am going to count the "I was struck by"s and send an admonishing letter off to NPR.

Mara Liasson pointed out that gee it would be nice if they actually answered the questions, like the one about health care being a commodity.

McCain's health plan would make people be better off in the beginning, but down the line not so good. People shopping for their own health insurance would not do so well.

McCain did not do well on foreign policy.
Did not talk about actual decision to invade Iraq.

Commentator says that late arrival of foreign policy questions show how it has fallen in concern.

Obama sounded strong on foreign policy. Seemed to be a "steadier hand" on the questions.

One commentator says Obama did better than usual in debate.

I'd agree. He sounded like it was a lot more personal to him, not some academic exercise. Even if he can't do that"my friends" thing McCain does.

I'm almost disappointed. Only four "I was struck by"s in the post debate commentary. I must've missed a couple while I was typing. I don't see a transcript on the NPR site of the commentary part so I can't check, which also means I can't tell you who said what. That's the breaks.

I don't think anything happened here tonight to change people's minds. Maybe a few in the undecided middle will drift one way or another, but those on both the right and left will both be trumpeting their candidate's victory tomorrow.

There's one more debate: someone please, pour honey on me and tie me down on an anthill. I'll suffer less.

I think the election will boil down to one point—do you think Sarah Palin is worthy to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, or does the idea scare you all the way down to your pinko, leftist liberal, socialist commie toes?

G'night all (both of you)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eh, Monday

Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post had an online discussion, transcript here:

Here is a sample quote in response to a question about Palin's behavior during the debate,
"The winking was beyond annoying. I haven't talked to any women who weren't deeply offended by her flirting for votes."

Parker also thinks moderate women who were thinking of voting for McCain after Clinton lost out, are now going to head back to Obama. Let's hope.

Bringing things closer to home:
I was saddened this weekend to hear that one of my favorite bands, the Dresden Dolls, is splitting up, at least for the time being. The two members, Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, had what they called a "punk cabaret" act. Brian is a killer drummer with interesting facial expressions as he plays and Amanda a near-brilliant songwriter and performer. They've been doing a lot of solo gigs lately, now we see why.
On the upside, Amanda has what looks to be a very good solo album coming out, "Who killed Amanda Palmer?" Videos can be seen on YouTube.

Also, today, I heard Berkeley Breathed is killing off Opus the penguin and ceasing his Sunday comic. Oh alas, alackaday! One of my favorite characters.

News like this would be enough to drive me to drink, if I didn't already.

I'm going to go find something useful to do. You two, my loyal readers, should also.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Abortion battles

I see in the NY Times that the Catholic bishop in Scranton, PA, has ordered his priests to read a letter saying that voting for a supporter of abortion rights amounts to supporting homicide.
This is the annual "respect life" Sunday.

Y'know, I don't like abortion either, although I respect the decisions of those who choose one. I'M not the one who is pregnant and I figure i can't judge anybody for choosing to have one. I'd rather it wasn't chosen to be used except in the case of saving the life of the mother, or if the fetus would produce a severely damaged child.
Given the current state of politics and religion in this country, I don't see any other option. There are enough unwanted teenage pregnancies, enough people with more kids than they can afford to take care of.
If the Catholic Church, and its evangelical brethren, really want to stop abortions, they should put their considerable resources into:
• taking the stigma out of out-of-wedlock pregnancy
• free prenatal care and hospital services for unwed or poor wed mothers. Also helping the women to eat well and be healthy in the pregnancy.
• developing a host of willing adopters so that women who didn't want a child could be sure the child got a good home
• helping out those who want to keep a child but need help in raising it
• Stop acting like sex was the devil's creation instead of God's. That is, providing condoms, birth control pills etc to anyone who wants them.
Of course that is a big hurdle for the Church and the evangelicals. God forbid anyone should enjoy sex unless they were trying to make a baby. This whole pleasure thing is very suspect among those people. I'm sure they would rather no pleasure was involved.
I believe that even the flower enjoys the touch of the bee picking up her pollen. But that's just me.

Abstinence only goes so far, and only works for some people. I think it's a good idea for teenagers, but I don't expect that it will be widely used.

And then there is rape and incest. Traditionally, male-dominated theocracies have tried to put the blame for those things on the women. They blame everything sexual on the women. Even if one doesn't blame the women, what to do about the unwanted pregnancy that often arises from these violent acts? If it happens to you, your neighborhood priest or minister will urge you to keep the child, but don't expect him to come up with the scratch to pay for all the things you need to pay for.

Going back to "respect life Sunday." Something I find really objectionable and hypocritical about the anti- abortion crowd is their insistence that it not be done even to save the life of the mother.
Look folks, if you try to save the mother's life, the fetus dies. But if you save the fetus, the mother dies. If you believe each is a human being with a soul, then one way or another IT'S STILL KILLING! Choose your poison.
I'd say the mother has more right to decide what she wants than a priest or minister. But again, that's just me.

Sorry to be so grim, but sometimes that's what I'm here for.

Incidentally, the UCC got some flack from the IRS because Obama spoke at the big meeting in Hartford some months before he decdlared his presidency. The IRS felt that the UCC was endorsing a candidate. When they realized he was a member of the UCC, and as a member had a legitimate right to speak there, and hadn't declared his candidacy anyway, they backed off.

So is the bishop of Scranton risking taking the tax-exempt status away from the Catholic Church? Don't hold your breath. IRS agents won't be surrounding parish houses and taking priests off in handcuffs any time soon.
Nor should they.

On the other hand, there are a lot of Catholics in Scranton who say that abortion can't be the only criteria for choosing someone. They realize that electing people who can help make this a more humane world—better environment, better health care, more equitable distribution of wealth etc— may do more in the long run to take care of the abortion problem than someone whose only qualification for office is willingness to pass laws against it.

That's enough.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

From VPs to Official Murder—I'm rambling tonight

The longer one thinks about the VP debate last Thursday, the more bizarre Sarah Palin seems. Look at her often disconnected responses, her aw shucks attitude, and her constant "mavericking" in the debate and it's easy to see she is just winging it. There used to be a "no-nothing" party in this country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing), back in the 1850's or thereabouts—she will be a no-nothing vice-president.
Oh, maybe I'm wrong, I forgot, she reads a lot of newspapers and magazines—"all of them, any of them, any that have been in front of me all these years."

The only reason she is accepted at all by the Republican Party is because Johnny Mac is not ratcheting up the electoral energy. Johnny Mac looks like he is just about hanging on. Sarah is at least perky. Also, Frank Rich says in the New York Times that Sarah Palin has "more testosterone than anyone else at the top of her party."
Well, I wouldn't know about that, but she's not afraid to just leap in when she sees a chance to move up in the world. I guess you could say that's "ballsy."

In the meantime we hear that Palin failed to report travel reimbursements on her tax return. "Well doggone it, gosh, I must have forgot. That happens to us ordinary folks sometimes down here on Main street."

Anyway, mavericks don't have to declare everything.

Whoa, the house finally passed that bailout, uh, I mean rescue plan. Minor change—it's now up to $800 bil (got a lot more expensive over the course of the week). Seems like they had to address some of the representatives concerns before they would come over to the pro-bill side.
Usually this is called a bribe.

Adam Davidson talking to Ira Glass on This American Life:
"While Congress has been debating the Paulson plan, there is another financial rescue option that many economists prefer. Most economists whom Davidson and colleague Alex Blumberg have spoken with say a stock-injection plan is clearly better. Instead of just taking toxic assets off of banks' books, the U.S. government would directly inject capital into ailing firms. In return, the government — and taxpayers — would get an ownership share in the firms equal to the amount of their investment."
Yeah, so how come this isn't the focus of the bill? It seems like some of our conservative brothers think this is "socialism."

Ooohh, socialism! (Hold out your arms and use your forefingers to make a cross here).
We can't have that. Nuh-uh, not for America. Except of course if you're a corporation that has effed up egregiously, then it's shoring up capitalism, if the gov't. gives you money. If they give some to me, then it's socialism. There folks, you have the two terms defined.
Socialism—giving money to poor, indebted, unemployed me.
Capitalism—giving money to corporations who need to reward their CEOs with big severance packages after a couple years of effing up.
Succinct, and to the point. Now you can skip that class at school.

Socialism, otherwise known as "government actually doing something for its citizens" has gotten a bad rap in this country. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, corporate vultures like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and J.P. Morgan (may their names be forever despised) used this term to scare all the Anglo-Saxons when those immigrants from Ireland and Europe started bitching and moaning about how they were treated. Ungrateful wretches. Then we had occasions like the Haymarket massacre in Chicago. This was blamed on anarchists, but the police were there to make sure the people supporting striking workers knew who was boss. They didn't figure some wingnut would throw a bomb.
The powers that be were grateful for an excuse to start shooting.

This was the beginning of a long and glorious tradition of official murder. The culmination in this country was at Kent State in 1970.

The story of workers' struggle for decent living against the captains of industry is pretty depressing. Profits, profits, profits. There is a reason that Jesus said it would be easier for a camel to get thru the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.
I don't believe in Hell, but I would believe if I knew that Carnegie, Frick, and Morgan (and others like them) were burning in it.
Not nice of me to say that, but there it is.

on that note— I'm outta here. I had some things to say about some catholic clergy trying to influence their flocks in a certain direction, but it's late. Gotta get my beauty sleep.

Thanks to both of my loyal readers for hanging in there with me.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah Rampant

That Sarah, gotta love her. She was confident and articulate. I'm imagining her striding out on stage with her beauty queen smile. I hear she had good audience eye contact—hard to see on the radio. What she did is she confidently articulated a lot of nonsense. Early on she said she might not answer questions the way the moderator wanted, which we saw later meant that if she didn't have an answer to the moderator's question, she'd answer some other question.
That's one way of showing your ignorance.

There was a lot of those inaccurate Republican talk points, like Obama is going to raise taxes on every American. Biden was good at getting right in there and refuting them. She didn't really answer back, unless I missed something, but would mouth the same baloney later. Clearly she had learned and prepped some stuff well and just stuck to it, no matter what the question or Biden's response.

Her handlers trained her well. Still, she's all packaging. The box is empty.

I wonder if they coached her on the gay rights question. I was surprised she was able to say that her ticket would support gay rights, excepting marriage, without gagging. Even tho she made that exception, I hear the rumble of many conservative bodies spinning in their graves. Good thing they didn't debate in Massachusetts. Angry Puritan zombies would have risen out of their graves and devoured them both.

The Obama ticket also does not support gay marriage. I suspect that Obama is not just saying that to console and cajole conservatives. I think he means it, which is too bad. Well, nobody's perfect. Our Joe, tho, I'd bet doesn't really give a damn.

Joe was good, showed himself knowledgeable, attacked without demeaning his opponent (in spite of the fact she knows as much about foreign policy as a box of rocks), no rambling or foot in mouth. Showed he actually knew what he was talking about, and I don't believe Palin had a good counter-response to any of his criticisms of John McCain. Alas, no "You're no Jack Kennedy" moment. Palin deserves one.

I'd give the debate to Palin on appearance and surprising everyone by not making a total fool out of herself like she did with the Couric interviews. But it couldn't cover up her lack of knowledge. Joe wins on the facts and showing that he is the one with the real goods where being a heartbeat away from the presidency is concerned.

Oh, I almost forgot, McCain's a maverick, and she's one too. Don't know how I almost forgot as she said this about 47 times during the debate. It was the little mantra she pulled out every time she had nothing to say.
Actually he thinks he is. Maybe because he's not born-again.

I'm looking at the transcript—how about this little zinger:
Palin —"One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is let's commit ourselves just every day American people, Joe Six Pack, hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and say never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these dollars. We need to make sure that we demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings and we need also to not get ourselves in debt."

"Strict oversight?!!" You mean "regulation" of the capitalist system? Is this her or is this really a McCain thing?

You know, it's amusing to hear Republicans chide Republicans for not being watchdogs, for not "taking care" of their business—i.e., governing—but instead taking care of business. Taking care of the corporate entities who give them money instead of the poor suckers who voted for them.

Scary thing—she's in agreement with VP Cheney about the VP having more power under the constitution than was previously thought.
Palin—"Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation."

OY. Can you imagine this person pushing her own agenda instead of John McCains'?
"Let's get those nasty books out of the libraries, dammit! And FBI—I've got an ex-brother-in-law you better go after."

Biden had a good response:
"And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit. The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us."

Way to go, Joe.

Not that Palin noticed.

Anyhow, that's it.

One last thing:
AGAIN with the "I was struck by…" during the commentary afterwards.
NPR, you're driving me to thoughts of violence. I'M struck by the thought that you need a "cliché police" department there. I volunteer. I'd love to strike everyone who used "I was struck by" during the commentary.

That's it.
I'm outa here.

I saw the sun rise…

Three times actually, since Monday's debacle. World as we know it is still running. Wall Street is still holding its collective breath. Looks like the new, improved model of bailout will have better results. Still too much power to Paulson, IMHO.
But I don't get to vote on this.
And all the congressmen in favor of it say it's not a bailout, that the taxpayer will have a good chance of making money on this. Uh-yup. Can't wait to see my dividend checks.

In the meantime, I'm waiting for the VP debate.
I'll be back.
Gotta go sharpen the knives.