Archive for September, 2008

Yard sign Question

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

I see two Obama / Biden yard-signs.  One has Obama at the top, with Biden at roughly the same size, except with a narrower front.  The other is Obama / Biden with the large Obama, and a rather tiny Biden cornered off a bit.  Does the choice made between the two Obama / Biden signs denote differing levels of enthusiasm for Joseph Biden?

Terrorist Attack at Mosque in Dayton

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

… According to the Authorities it’s not a “Hate Crime”, one targetted at Muslims in particular…

A 10-year-old girl sprayed in the face with a chemical Friday, Sept. 26, while at a local Islamic mosque was not the victim of a hate crime, police Chief Richard Biehl said.

The girl was watching children whose parents and relatives had gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, 26 Josie St., to celebrate Ramadan when she noticed two men standing outside a basement window about 9:40 p.m., according to police.

One of the men then sprayed something through the open window and into the girl’s face from a white can with a red top, according to a police report. The girl said she immediately felt burning on her face and felt “sick to her stomach,” the report stated.

Other children and a woman in the room felt affects from the chemical and the mosque was evacuated.

“The men didn’t say anything to her (before she was sprayed),” Biehl said. “There was nothing left at the scene or anything that makes us believe this is a biased crime.”

It’s a Mosque.  Even if you assume the most low-level crude vandalism on behalf of juvenile Hooligans who would otherwise be vandalizing property or something, how would they approach and throw gas it without specifically targetting Muslims, and knowing in their minds that that was what they were doing?  This matter-of-fact report does not add up, except through creative definitions of various terms to gloss over the situation.

It all began with the Gold Standard…

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

It is not that it started when Richard Nixon took the US off of the Gold Standard.  Our problems actually began when Carter failed to put us on the Zinc Standard.  Alan Greenspan spent his career trying to destroy the government’s system of finance, while sending the message out to followers of Ayn Rand playing out their John Galt fever fantasies to float their life-boats to the commodities of Gold and Zinc.  He then got out while the going was good, leaving Henry Paulson holding the bag to storm into Congress with a gun and demand $700 Billion.  They didn’t do so, and thus we now look forward to a future shovelling huge barrels of money about to purchase pencils off of street corners to attempt to sell at a mark-up to other pencil sellers.

None of this would have happened if Carter had put us on the Zinc Standard and tied the value of currency to the value of Zinc.

The one thing I can say about the defeat of the Big Bill is that it was that wonderous coalition of the liberal fringe and the conservative fringe of the Congress, along with the bloc of Vulnerable Congress-critters, against the Establishment “Leadership” Center.  These things are always bubbling to the surface, but they never quite materialize.  The Center did not hold; the Center could not hold; the Center fell.

I look at the front page of the paper today.  It is that stock genre of photograph you see from time to time.  A close up of a few investors on the floor of the Stock Market Exchange at the front of a sea of investors flocking every which way, looking up at the numbers, their hands on their faces, slack-jawed faces of Dread.  Or, from a news clip, “Whatever your level of Investment — whether you’re a [blank] or a [blank], you were SLAUGHTERED today.”

How does Biden prep for Palin, anyway?

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Imagine Joseph Biden prepping for his debate with Sarah Palin.  The thing about it is, it is not too hard to conjure up what his Debate Proxy would be like in terms of politically appealing traits — imagine a more seasoned and more reasonably steady politician at least able to capture the line-up of positions, but more importantly with great ease in use of folksy mannerism and ability to zing her opponent, and most importantly never getting bogged down and able to keep her head above it all.

I have read previous insiders in presidential and vice-presidential campaigns comment that their Proxy-Debaters tend to be better than their actual opponents, which makes sense in part because the fake debaters don’t really have anything to gain or lose and can be brutally tough on their opponent without any political drawback, and is likely going to be the case with Biden versus Palin.  I don’t quite know what Joseph Biden is supposed to do in a situation like he is in, but he will have to place someone against him in his practices and assume the absolute best out of his fake Sarah Palin — the ultimate Benefit of the Doubt.  Expectations are so ridiculously low that she could exceed them and still come up short in the public’s mind.  Supposedly she ran through a mock debate and mock press conference herself, and supposedly they ended terribly — part of the Blue-Alert Conspiracy Theory about McCain’s “post-pone the debates” antics being a ploy to either cancel or post-pone for more seasoning the Biden — Palin debate.  (The Orange-Alert Conspiracy Theory is that this was wading into the idea of Cancelling the Elections.)   If true, I imagine the mock-debate prep in the McCain camp kind of dumbing down the debate to get her to meet steady goals, which is the opposite of how this is all supposed to work. 

I wonder what is the most politically astute answer to the plausible debate question “Do you believe Sarah Palin is qualified to be president of the United States?”.  Answer that to Jennifer Granholm’s face — who, at the moment, is the fake Palin, and who is qualified to be president.

On consideration of Bird Crap

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

A bird pooped on me yesterday morning.  It was one of those occasions which causes one to think and consider various matters of the Human Condition, Life, the Universe, Everything.  I thought about where the nearest faucet might be to drench the bird-shi& away.  I also wondered which type of soap might be best to get it off of my hands.  Further, I contemplated whether I needed to put my coat into the washer or if I could just rinse it off and douse it with a towel a bit.  Deep thoughts all around.

The Vice-presidential debate Drinking Game

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Every time Sarah Palin says something that makes you mutter, say, or think “Kill Me Now”, take a shot.  Every time Sarah Palin’s words or demeanor cause you to start weeping about either the future of this country or wonder what you personally might have done to contribute to or not avert the downward spiral of this nation as represented by what is being shown on the screen before you, pound it down.

That bizarre Senate race in South Carolina

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

A couple of polls have shown up which have the previously completely off the radar screen South Carolina Senate race between McCain syncoprant Lindsey Graham and obscure pilot Bob Conley within single digits.  When these things show up, I tend to dismiss poll number one as aberation, and take credence of two polls showing the same 8 or 9 percent result.  In this case, I did regard that first poll as plausible, only because the American Conservative magazine wrote up Conley and has reiterated how much they would really like to see him win, which in and of itself isn’t anything (a rather small political magazine with neither a particularly large readership and not impactful on the inner political scene of the political cognitsia) but was indicative of some amount of activity and you could gather a right-wing populist revolt brewing, demanding the ouster of Senator Graham.

Bob Conley is sort of the Bizarro Bob Kelleher — except Kelleher is down by, like 40 points in Montana, and Conley is down by 8.  I don’t quite know what one is supposed to do with Conley.  He was a “Ron Paul Republican” who won a Democratic Primary in a race that was supposed to decide who would be the sacrifical lamb.  Indeed, I gather the problem with these poll numbers are they are made up of combustable parts, for all that talk of some weird “Left / Right Coalition against the Entrenched Establishment” talk.  The formula for a Bob Conley victory is some unholy combination of gelling the Democrats with them gathering together for a straight down the ballot vote, and of winning over that large mass of Republicans who think Lindsey Graham is a traitor for, in particular, Immigration Reform — less so but still potent a re-entrenchment of Isolationist sentiment.  Can these things hold together?

The disparity of money at hand for the two candidates, at the end of the primaries?  Graham:  $3.6 million.  Conley:  $938.  And with that, Conley trails by 8.  Bob Conley would probably be worthless in the Democratic Caucus, but may be entertaining — I suppose.  Donate $25 and it would be a significant haul for Bob Conley.  It’s all moot — I suspect at the end of the day Graham will win by no less than fifteen points — next time South Carolina Democrats will just have to find somebody with the last name of “Hollings” to piggy-back off of the last Democratic Senator for the state.  In the meantime we have a snap-shot of just how bad things are for the Republican Party that a Lindsey Graham is sweating a against an opponent with less than a thousand dollars.

I am looking forward to the Meet the Press debate.  Meet the Press has, since 2002, hosted Senate race debates for some of the most competitive races, and I must note that they have hosted ones for races more lop-sided than this one.

reappropriate that expression

Friday, September 26th, 2008

The front page of the Oregonian, selling its front page of its boxed street edition in the same “Bread and Circuses” manner it has since the Dawn of the Era where every few months we gets news that the newspaper is slicing its staff by a trickle, blares the news of Oregon State University’s upset of the number one USC Trojans team, complete with a full half-page photograph of an OSU star pumping his fist in the air.  What’s interesting is the story I am fairly sure what the story that would be enlarged to this huge photograph tabloid-ish stock sans the Big Game.

But, to give the OSU Beavers their props for a job well done, I will say it:


For the past couple months, knowing full well the shadow of a sithe haunting Washington Mutual, I have been snickering at that ad campaign.   All I can say is that I imagine that “Woot” would have been a more contemporarily hip ad campaign to go out on, and for that Washington Mutual deserves a whole lot of scorn.  (Or, a more seriously tid-bit here.)

But how about them Beavers?  WOO HOO!!!

Crossing that Rubicon

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Perhaps we are getting a good glimpse of what the “Leadership Style” of a John McCain’s presidency would look like, and no it is not pretty.  McCain seems set to put us on the course of a perpetual “Cliff-hanger” for American government — we will be on the edge of our seats, sweating the next chapter of a prolonged serial.

The other part of the equation is a creeping “Youse Guys” proponent.  It is those rash judgements and areas of political posturing with Palin and with his political grand-standing which effectively screwed up or post-poned the deal between the Democratic Congress and the Bush Administration, and which is throwing that Ole Miss Debate for a loop.  The McCain / Palin campaign brings to mind the sort of logic behind those emails which circulated soon after 9/11 which suggested that the way to defeat the Terrorists was by smearing pig blood about, or something.  This may be the future of our foreign policy; this may be the future of our domestic policy — a bunch of “Too Clever by Half” measures which seem best suited for a Bar conversation after a few drinks — “Youse Guys, you see, what they should do is…”.

Then again, it’s probably pointless to consider the ramifications of a McCain presidency.  That ship may have sailed.  I get the feeling McCain is mostly being used as a set-up for a distraction at this point in time.  The better consideration may be what lays ahead after eight years of an Obama administration.:

We can now witness Palin’s most recent interview. It will not do to read the transcript.  Only while watching the actual video is it possible fully to appreciate the wisdom of Palin’s handlers in keeping her away from open microphones as much as possible: Even so, it seems to me obvious that this is the face of a future president.  Perhaps not this decade, but sometime in the next.  It is important to understand that — and, if not to accept it, then in some way to come to terms with it.  The trends that, as Lin argues in his book, hollow out any possibility of serious political discussion are precisely why Palin will be an ideal vehicle for a politics that evades deliberation, as well as the proxy for that segment of the American public (not a small part) that loathes it.  She will be better coached in the future, and learn the art of translating ignorance into arrogant self-confidence.  She was able to manage that on a state level, but will need a little more practice to pull it off on the larger public stage.  All it will take is time.

I don’t quite buy that Sarah Palin is the Future.  I think more likely in the next eight years someone else can be plucked out and groomed for a successful marketing as the Great Opponent of Intellectualism (Intellectualism defined once again downward into the movie Idiocracy)– ala George W Bush eight years ago.  Palin was taken out of that broiler four years too early.

I don’t quite know the intellectual heft of Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, but I do know he has a story which warms the heart of Christian Conservatives, and also covers that “Ethnic Diversity” area which might suffice in broadening the base enough as he works out his power-backed “Reformer” chops — an Indian (India) who converted to a stark version of Catholicism, and he once wrote about performing an Exorcism.  He might just be The One.