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September 06, 2008

Wandering around in the world o'blog, I found the media not liking McCain's undeniably boring and content-free convention speech. (Warning: this site has annoying java ads, but they seem to be mostly at the bottom.)

And then there's Krugman's discussion of lies-to-date and Rick Perlstein's book Nixonland, which seems to be some kind of primer for running a hate-filled campaign. (Basically, if you got nothing to offer, appeal to the narrow-minded population who got nothing and need someone to blame.)

Both links via the invaluable Sideshow.

In other news, Cheney takes a swing at Russia again. If he and his defense industry cronies are in danger of losing their war in Iraq, then they'd probably be very happy to have another Cold War start up. (They don’t' really care who's getting shot or bombed, just as long as a hefty percentage of the national budget winds up in their pockets.)

And if you were planning on taking a road trip one of these days, you'd better do it soon, before the highways wear out.

Looking across the pond, I find Andrew Sullivan in the Times Online telling everyone that McCain's choice of Palin makes McCain scary. (I couldn't understand some of the stories Sullivan linked to, but after reading them, I say both of them are scary - McCain and Palin. I mean, how weird do you have to be to write letters where you're pretending you're god?)

Before we get to the Palin stories, consider this excerpt from the column in question:

Within hours, the McCain campaign was under siege, as the vetting process the professionals didn't do was done by thousands of bloggers and citizen journalists. Palin's reality show family life, her vendetta against her ex brother-in-law, her endorsement of a mayoral candidate who ran against her own mother-in-law, her attempt to ban books in her local library, her friendship with one of her husband's former business partners, and on and on: this was the first major campaign event that was covered by the underground media before it reached the mainstream. The American mainstream press spent a large part of last week wondering how much truth the public could bear to hear.

I'm thinking, maybe some day the "mainstream press" will take a look at the passion, energey, and enthusiasm of blogs? And realize that "the public" has a gigantic appetite for the truth. And then, maybe, just maybe, the "mainstream press" will start providing us with some.

But, back to the Sullivan column:

And Palin's edcuation? Six colleges in five years ending in a degree in sports journalism from the University of Idaho. That's the background of someone who could be president of the United States at any moment after next January.

Someone who very well could be president, some time in the next four years, if McCain is elected. That is scary.

Coverage of USofA political progress didn't stop there in the Times Online.

Indeed, the Xcel Energy Centre in St Paul was not living up to its name. Across the river in Minneapolis, Congressman Ron Paul was holding a rally for 10,000 libertarian-leaning Republicans but inside the convention hall itself there were rows of empty seats. Denver, where Mr Obama had packed 84,000 into a football stadium for his acceptance speech, seemed along way away.

The article is about an "enthusiasm gap" between the Right and the Left.

And, finally, before I leave you today, I thought you'd like to know that the Wall Street Journal has discovered that lots and lot and lots of people think there's a ton of bias in the media. (I'm not saying they care. Just that they've discovered that "people" think it's a big problem.)

Posted by AnneZook at 10:37 PM | Comments (4)
More Fun with Electoral Math!

June 11, I snagged this from CNN and posted it:


And now it's September 6, just after both conventions.


Some of the tossups are now leaners. Some of the leaners are now leaning the other direction.

When I find myself wondering why Palin is making such hate-filled speeches, when I find myself distressed by the attacks on Mr. Obama's character, when I listen in vain for any discussion of serious issues from the Right? I need to remember this map. They're going down--maybe not for the third time, but it's at least the second time, and they have very little left to lose.

IMO, McCain won't have what it takes to run again in four years if he doesn't make it this year. And no one outside of McCain could possibly be crazy enough to take on Palin after this. The fact that she can make a speech that can rile up the base that's going to vote Repulican anyhow aside, any honest media coverage* of her real views and real behavior in office has to make even the Rabid Right back off.

And I give her props. I may not agree with her beliefs, but she can read a teleprompter with the best of them. :) If this was a longer campaign cycle, I have no doubt that she'd have become adept at delivering off-the-cuff vitriol.


* Honest media coverage. You know, the kind we did not get when Rove first put Bush forward as a candidate.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

I haven't blogged Swaziland in long time.

It's the king's birthday.

"I'm aware that many in the world might be wondering why we are so excited about the celebrations of our 40th anniversary," the king told the crowd. "The answer is simple. We are celebrating our nationhood."

However, the so-called 40-40 party was preceded by demonstrations against its excessive cost in a country that has the world's highest AIDS rate and where only one in four Swazis lives to be 40.

Making 40th birthday parties something of a rarity in the nation.

The cost was officially put at $2.5 million, but it was widely believed to be at least five times more.


Mswati urged residents to vote for people who can tackle Swaziland's huge problems. Many previous government officials have been criticized for serving only their own personal interests.

"We need people who take their responsibilities seriously," he said.

Stones. Glass houses.

The NYTimes, which gives most of the dangerous plutocrats in this country a pass, had a story as well.

“How can the king live in luxury while his people suffer?” asked Siphiwe Hlophe, a human rights activist. “How much money does he need, anyway?”

Many of us wonder that about many rich people.

AFP has a story about AIDS in Swaziland.

At only 15 Nonsikelelo Hlophe is old beyond her years after she and her siblings lost both their parents to HIV-AIDS, turning the family into one of thousands headed by children.

That's a bit of an exaggeration. There's a 22 year-old brother, but the gist remains true. Tens of thousands of children have been orphaned by the disease. Treatment, only recently available in the country, is offered primarily by foreign NGOs.

But don't run away with the idea that the king isn't trying to help. In 2001, he asked all Swazi 'maidens' to abstain from sex for five years. I'm not sure if he thought everyone infected would die off in the interim or what. (All 'maidens' except for the 17 year-old he picked to marry that year.) (And the 18 year-old he picked to marry in 2003.)

Posted by AnneZook at 02:31 PM | Comments (1)
September 05, 2008
Bigots Abound

There's been some reaction to the recent use of the word "uppity" to describe Mr. Obama. By, and this will not surprise you, a Southern Republican Congressman. The word, as most of us know, is a not-so-secret code for--well, an attitude I keep hoping, quite in vain, that mature, sensible people in this country have learned better than. But some of them haven't.

(expletives deleted)

(I had more to say, but by the time I took out the bad words, there wasn't much left.)

The use of the word, "boy" by Kentucky Rep Geoff Davis sets flames going inside my head, but I'm trying to stay rational. Not all Republicans are hatemongers, not all people from the South are bigots, and not everyone who acts like an ignorant, narrow-minded jackass is actually a throwback to the 1850s. (Okay, maybe they are.)

I also happen to think it's a darned good idea not to stand around advertising your racist bigotry and I can't believe I didn't hear the outrage when the Congressman in question made that disgusting remark, but whatever. I'm sure y'all talked about it and I just missed it.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)
September 04, 2008

I might not be blogging any more (No, really. I'm not.) but I can't stop reading.

Canada.com has McCain Grilled for choosing Palin, an article that includes:

Also highlighted was that Sarah Palin repeatedly laughed on air during a January radio interview as the host used words including "cancer" and "bitch" to describe one of her political opponents, a woman who happens to be a cancer survivor.

What charming behavior.

The Salt Lake Tribune's Rebecca Walsh says: "But I didn't make Palin's historic Republican candidacy about her indoor plumbing and what she decides to do with it; John McCain and evangelical voters did."

And while they're talking about her "executive experience," I wonder if they'll get around to this?

On the other hand, I'm confused. If you're going to tell lies while running for office, why not, you know, lie about something that will make you look more qualified? Why lie about being Miss Congeniality? Lie about something that matters.

Steve Benen gave us Jukebox John.

(Steve is all over being fabulous over at The Washington Monthly. Some great posts.) (Oh, just read everything posted on the site. It's all great.)

Is John McCain a crook? This all looks so very Whitewater, doesn't it?

And, last but not least, just when you're thinking that the lame-assed, lame-duck Bush Administration can't do much more harm? Consider the way they think of "terrorism" rather differently, depending on who the target is.

Dismissing a bunch of heavily armed drug users with a plan to murder Obama as pretty much harmless, while a mean letter to McCain is treated like a major event? How sad is that?

And equally, how sad that this isn't being made more of in the media. This kind of uneven-handed treatment of two USofA citizens says something about us. I just can't decide if it says something about Right vs. Left or something about race?

Work! I have to go work. Everyone stop being so interesting, at least until my lunch break.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:25 AM | Comments (6)
September 03, 2008
What I Think

Thank goodness for Jamie Lee Curtis, for saying what I always say.

It's nice to be able to "relate" to someone, but someone "just like you" is not necessarily what you want in a President.

When the call comes at 3AM I want a mind who was at the top of their class, who has gravitas and a real intellect. I want a leader who is a scholar who can hold the history of civilization in his head and will read and learn from the past as he charts the future.



P.S. John McCain says this election is not about the issues.

I mean, think about that. One of the candidates does not want to talk about what he believes, what he wants to do, or where he thinks the country should be headed. Are those the words of a leader?


P. P. S. The least forgivable thing about this election cycle so far?

Because of John McCain, I now have to type the loathsome words, I agree with Peggy Noonan.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)

I'm not listening to the Republican speechifying (life is just too short) but I'm reading about them. And I think I'm figuring out that McCain/Palin are running as Hillary Clinton.

Seriously. I've read so many references to her that it almost seems they're hoping to fool voters into thinking that one of them is Hillary Clinton.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:36 PM | Comments (0)