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September 12, 2008

I'm hoping this link works.

All of the links under the graphic are interesting to see, but the one marked "satellite loop" really gives you a sense for how the storm is "roaring" ashore.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

Bad news for those of us afflicted with sanity.

I took an informal poll today among a population of one (a friend of mine) inclined toward voting Republican (she's done it 80% of the time) and she thought Mr. Obama call Palin a pig (what she referred to as "the lipstick remark") was "crossing the line."

So, with the national media's support, McCain's campaign is getting the job done.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:08 PM | Comments (2)
In fact?

A very bad idea.


Posted by AnneZook at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)
Very Small Words

Offshore oil drilling? Is. A. Very. Bad. Idea.


Posted by AnneZook at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)
September 11, 2008
Don't Worry. Be Happy.


Misery loves Democrats

More charitably, let me say that I was going to join in on the mocking of McCain for his inept defense of his illogical VP choice, but I decided not to.

I've been reading a suggestion here and there, and it rings true, that he didn't want Palin anyhow. She's not a choice he made--she's the price he paid.

He wanted the "religious fundamental base" voters. Palin, unsurprisingly popular with that crowd, was the price of their support. Given his determination to achieve the White House at all costs, I guess it's to be expected that he'd be willing to pay that price.

But--no. On second thought--he's willing to pay that price? Then he should be mocked and questioned and quizzed and backed into a corner. Because the chance, however remote of a Palin presidency? Is too high a price.*

But, on the whole? I'd rather be liberal.

But that doesn't let liberals off the hook for what I see as their own failings. Shutup about the stupid lipstick. Stop playing into the Right's hands. You do this every, single time Wise up.

Talk about the issues. All the time. In every setting. In every context.

The issues.

Nothing else.

Like Mr. Obama, who says things like, "They want me to talk about the lipstick because they don't want me to talk about the issues and the fact that the people of this country are worried about their futures and the eonomy." (Very loose paraphrase by me.)


* Also, anything is too high a price for the privilege of having four more years of stupidity.

I mean, yes, I know they have Rove advising them and they're being as aggressive as they can about staying about from facts and issues about Palin, but when even the corporate national media is calling a Republican candidacy lame? It's lame.

Forgodsake--I disagree with almost everything she believes in and I could have constructed a better campaign strategy for them. Given her bio any half-decent hack could have constructed a better narrative for the public than what McCain's campaign is using.

Which leads me to wonder--is he doing some kind of weird, passive-aggressive thing? He was forced to accept her as his VP pick but he's damned if he's going to make it easy on her? But.... That would mean he's torpedoing his own campaign, just to get revenge. And I'm not sure he's willing to do that?

Stupid tactics confuse me.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:49 PM | Comments (2)
September 10, 2008
Habeas Corpus

It's not a joke and the rightwing dittoheads need to learn to think before they cheer.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)
I Didn't Want To Love Him

I should have just read Steve Benen and saved myself several hours of enraged typing.

Or, you know, have quoted Mr. Obama's speech.

I think I'm starting to fall in love with this candidate in spite of my long-standing cynicism about politicians and their speeches. He's saying the things I want to hear. He's saying that the issues matter. He's becoming ever-more adept at turning the conversation back to the issues, regardless of the media's chosen spin on any situation.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:54 AM | Comments (3)
And. So. Very. Angry.

You know what? This is one of the main reasons I stopped blogging. Hours wasted ranting about things I can't change and where my opinion just isn't important.


My conclusion on the previous post, if I had one, would have been that it's time each and every one of us wrote a letter to the editors of our local papers. Go all out, use some paper and a stamp (and copy it in email). Make them know you're serious. That you think this election is about issues and that you demand that they start addressing what the candidates say or don't say about issues. And that you want the candidates, all of them, asked about the issues. Tell them that the next time they talk about "lipstick" or use the phrase "hockey mom" you're going to march down to their premises and yell at them in person.

"The more the New York Times and The Washington Post go after Sarah Palin, the better off she is, because there's a bigger truth out there and the bigger truths are she's new, she's popular in Alaska and she is an insurgent," Feehery said. "As long as those are out there, these little facts don't really matter."

(Jonathan Weisman)

This is the campaign they're running. This is the campaign the Republicans always run. Issues close to the hearts of real people are "little facts" and the misrepresentations, misdirections, and outright lies aren't important as long as the Republicans get elected.

The problem with our political systems is that the Left, especially in recent years, keeps tossing up candidates who are honest and committed to bettering the country.

And the Right is doing anything and everything it can to win elections.

There's a fundamental difference in how they approach government. On the Right, it's a gravy train that can enrich the elected officials and their cronies. On the Left, it's a massive service organization in support of this country and its people.

I don't want the Left to change, we can't make the Right change and they're not going to change on their own. (Why abandon a winning strategy?)

I'm just not sure what it's going to take to make the "core base" of the Republican Party see what their "leaders" really are, and how little they care about their base as people. The "small government" Republicans want small government, not because it maximizes personal freedom and saves tax dollars, but because it loosens the fetters on business.

I don't know how to grab that large mass of half-attentive occasional voters who are treading water between the two parties and get them to see that it matters, not only who they vote for, but that they always vote. Because this kind of white-hot partisanship is what you get when only the most passionate fringes of the parties are involved in the process.


I'm going to have to give up politiblogging again.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

I'm reading a lot of similar opinions this morning. People are agreeing that, no matter who wins, we're in for at least four years of hell.

It's interesting, because I've been thinking of this subject for the past few days.

McCain, in his overwhelming desire for office, is unloosing forces that are likely to make the country only barely governable no matter who wins.

(Kevin Drum)

This is the heart of the situation. McCain's lust for office is behind this slash-and-burn approach to the election. He wants to be President and by god he's going to be President, no matter if he has to bring the entire country down around our ears to do it. He's 72, he's had at least one heart attack, he's had multiple bouts with cancer, and this is his last chance.

In an eerie parallel to our current President's approach to the office--McCain knows he's not going to be around for that long, so consequences just don't matter.

Scenario A - Obama/Biden wins
The GOP goes mad, the same way they did after Clinton took the White House from Bush I. Instead of focusing on the serious business of "governing," the Republicans will spend the next four years in a screaming tantrum--making up lies and promulgating them relentlessly, throwing shit (mostly of their own creation), and spinning every Democratic inhale and exhale to make it clear that the Left is on a mission to destroy the world.

It will be Clinton all over again, but worse. The national media will be orgasmic at this continued drama. Conflict at the top is good for headlines and nightly news morsels.

There will be an increase in racial hate crimes in parts of the country as the rightwing, using barely coded racial slurs, incites the most hate-filled part of their "base" to action.

Obama, like most Presidents, will find himself unable to enact most of his most cherished programs.* The part of the public that actually votes tends to be the most partisan and Republican representatives are not going to risk endangering their own seats by cooperating with the Evil Left. (And, to be fair, most of them probably believe their own Party's propaganda.)

* On the other hand, should the "voters" continue to be vocal in support of Obama and his programs, most elected representatives will cave in, regardless. The most important thing for them is getting elected, and then getting elected again.

Scenario B - McCain/Palin wins
As it stands today, this could only happen by the narrowest of margins in an extremely tight race. The consequences on this one don't stop.

Congress is controlled by Democrats, at least for the next four years. Eight years of Reagan, during a number of which he had Alzheimer's. Four years of Bush 1. Eight years of watching Clinton get hammered to the wall on a regular basis, drowning in lies that no one seemed able to refute since the "media" was more interested in the drama of sex-themed headlines than the serious business of governing. And then eight years of watching Bush II destroy our economy, our standing in the world, and whatever fragile international "peace" we had been able to negotiate.

In between sniping and infighting, there are moments when this Democratic Congress will have to work with the White House. Budgets must be passed and, unlike the Right who are always willing to toss a hundred thousand or so workers out onto the streets just for the pleasure of pointing a finger at someone else and saying, "it's their fault," the Left is obligated to care. And I think Obama does actually care.

But only the most necessary business will be completed and the national media, always eager to suck up to the Right, will print endless stories about how it's the Democrats' fault for being sore losers. (Siding with the Left will not make the corporate owners and donors of the national media at all happy, so that's not gonna happen.)

There will be constant discussion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the people tired of the slaughter and the lack of positive results demanding that we bring the troops home and McCain, clinging desperately to his one, perceived qualification for office, determined to keep his Commander-In-Chief role active.

Guantanamo will not be closed, nor will the prisoners be released. There will be a few cosmetic trials and even a few releases--and much publicity around how McCain is making it a kinder, gentler concentration camp. (Update: No, I might be wrong. He might continue business as usual in Guantanamo, since he approves of torture.)

And then there's the voting population. You have 49 or 49-1/2% of the voting public unhappy at four more years of Bush. These people, many of them employers and business owners, will continue to lack faith in the economy. Wall Street will stay volatile.

You have the new generation of voters, realizing that all of their energy, their passion, their donations, and their commitment were not enough to beat the entrenched political machine. Disillusioned, many of them disenfranchise themselves.

And then, the real nightmare scenario--McCain is gone and we're left with Palin. The woman is a small-minded, mean-spirited, unqualified bigot. She got elected as governor in Alaska because it just doesn't matter that much who is governor in Alaska. The state government is largely owned by and run for the convenience of the oil industry. That she's proven to be dishonest and fiscally irresponsible, prone to exaggerating her own accomplishments and tagging anyone who disagrees with her as evil isn't that relevant in Alaska.

Pondering what I know of her beliefs (that is, what she's actually done, as opposed to what she's been saying in speeches since the VP nomination), we're in trouble. Oil is king, only "my kind" of Christian is acceptable, people of color should be neither seen nor heard, barefoot and pregnant is good enough for most women, it's my right to control your information access, and it's okay to destroy your enemies, especially in a holy war.

From what I've read, she takes neither advice nor correction well. She has a relentless "all for me and none for you" approach to life.

I find it hard to believe I'm saying this, but I'm starting to see that we could have, in my lifetime, a president so horrific that we could find ourselves looking back on the current Administration with nostalgia.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern.

We have witnessed two instances of a disgusting, racial slur.

One more will make a very disturbing pattern.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:24 AM | Comments (1)
You see?

We can't kill our way to victory' in Afghanistan

I love when people agree with me.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)
September 09, 2008
No credit

The weirdest thing I've read today has to be this.

While hardly agreeing with the characterization of Bush's "legacy" as "shockingly liberal" it's an interesting context in which to view the last eight years. George Bush is an advocate of human dignity, a passionate defender of liberty, a lover of freedom, and a humanitarian. (You have to look at him through non-partisan glasses. I'm not sure where you'd get those, since a 70% DISapproval rating means that a significant percentage of the morons who voted for him, twice, now think he's a failure, but whatever.)

(Contrary to my normal policy, I'm stuffing this behind a cut. I know I'm prone to going on and on and on, but a 2,000 word rant is excessive, even for me.)

Read More

Posted by AnneZook at 04:18 PM | Comments (2)
Who'd a thunk it?

Republicans, the party of "fiscal responsibility, are spendy.

It's not just the cost of killing people--I mean self-defense--in Iraq, either. Non-defense spending is up significantly under the Party of "small government."

Posted by AnneZook at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)
September 08, 2008

Bush is a moron, at least from my perspective. Especially when it comes to his politics. (#1 - It's ok to kill people if they won't give you what you want. #2 - Fuck the country and the "future." I won't be there to see the "future" and poor people are a waste of time. Anyone who matter has money. As long as me and my friends have hefty bank accounts, everyone else can eat cake.)

I have a fair number of intolerances, as I'm sure you know by now, but my #1 intolerance is stupidity. I have a zero-tolerance policy for stupidity. (As defined by ME.)

Our current Worst President Ever is stupid. He's invaded and failed to--whatthefuck is it he's trying to do? Conquer? Pacify? Democratize? Anyhow, he's failed to do anything to two Middle Eastern countries other than ratchet up an ugly body count, destroy infrastructure in countries with precious little to spare, and give "Them" a hundred new reasons to hate Us.

He's alienated most of our neighbors to the south, many of whom are turning to China and other growing countries for economic support partnerships.

The WPE has pissed off most of "The West" with his arrogant, warmongering hubris. "America" is now seen as an unstable and frightening power, dangerous to leave unopposed. (My thought? Iran doesn't want nuclear weapons to protect them against their neighbors. They want nuclear weapons to protect themselves against us.)

Here at home, the WPE has enriched daddy's friends and cronies (thus paying back the debts he owed from the times they bailed him out of one or another of his failed and possible fraudulent business ventures), made rich folks quite a lot richer, and ground the other 90% of the population down a little more.

If extreme disparity of wealth distribution and wild stock market speculation were major contributors to The Great Depression? I'd say the WPE has done more than his share to set us up for a second trip down that path.

I cannot believe you idiots actually elected him once, much less twice.

McCain is equally a moron. Or maybe more so. From his politics (repeating, "I was a POW" five thousand times will not make you any better qualified to run the country) to his decisions. (He's 70+ and has already had one heart attack and numerous bouts with cancer--making his VP choice more than normally critical, and he chose that?)

He's doubly a moron because he was a POW, he was tortured, and he didn't break with the Republican Party after they divulged that they'd made torture of prisoners an official government policy.*

I guess his outrage didn't quite outweigh his desire to run for office. Politicians can be very--flexible, that way.

Unemployment is at a five-year high, gasoline is still hovering around $4/gallon, a line of strong storms are heading toward the Gulf Coast, endangering the ugly but apparently necessary oil rigs floating in the fragile ecosystem still reeling from Katrina, our public educational system is in shambles, the stock market is skyrocketing and tanking like an unguided missile, home foreclosures are at record highs and the mortgage business is in a race with the country's infrastructure as to which can collapse first, and McCain says this race is not about the issues.

So. Very. Stupid.

So, I'm going on record to say I'm smarter than either Bush or McCain and what's even more important, I have more common sense than the two of them put together. And I can tell, looking at both of them, that the differences aren't much worth writing home about.

The Republican Party should go sit in a corner and have an extended time-out, while they think of all the ways they're ridiculously out of touch with reality.


* Side note: Why am I the only person who seems angry that these so-called "terror suspects" are mostly just men and boys who were sold to our military by their personal enemies? So, you know, we're back in the business of buying human beings again, but no one seems to care or to see it.

Offering a bounty on a wanted (alleged) criminal is one thing--I'm not sure I agree with the idea, but I haven't thought deeply about it. I do know, though, that offering "head money" for just anyone someone cares to tie up and dump on your doorstep? Is morally wrong on a level with slavery. Especially when you lock them up and torture them.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)
The Imperial States of America

Maybe I'm a geek, but I find things like this time-sensitive, interactive map very interesting.

Mission creep, indeed. That's the problem with being repressive, even if you call yourself a "liberating democracy." Once you start trying to repress people, there's just no end to it.

Found from a column by Tom Engelhardt , who also points us to an entire line-up of Mission Creep articles.

Engelhardt's article is more than worth reading, just because it makes you think.

And don't miss Michael Ignatieff's Empire Lite.

Contemplate, as you read, what you think this country stands for, how much you know about what "our leaders" actually do as opposed to the pretty lies they tell you when they're running for election, and what kind of world you want your children and grandchildren to live in one day. And contemplate, not just the cost of this oil war in Iraq, but the cost of these bases around the globe. Dream for a moment, if you want, of the kind of country we could be living into day if the money poured into military infrastructure around the world had been poured into domestic infrastructure at home.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:41 AM | Comments (2)