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Archive for February, 2012

strange coverage of election 2012

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

A weird front page photograph on The New York Times this morning.  It showed Mitt Romney walking before a Ron Paul placard.  The first thing I saw was the Ron Paul placard, and my thought was “Wait.  Did Ron Paul win after all?”

No.  But apparently he walked past the Ron Paul victory room (or something?), and that’s what the NY Times used for the front page?

Romney 39
Paul 36

Mitt wins stuff, and things.

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

And after all this, Mitt Romney won the stupid straw poll.

“A liberal, a moderate, and a conservative walk into a bar.  The bar-tender says, ‘Hi Mitt’”.  Crowd guffows.

One of the disconcerting aspects of politics, and it is pronounced on the “conservative” confluences like this, is something along the lines of:

In Mitt Romney’s defensive CPAC speeche, he vowed that he has “breathed” and “lived” Conservatism.

“The Whole of Your Being.”  The effect becomes something like: If you are at a restaurant and order a bad roast beef sandwich, you shove it aside the place and mutter “Damned Liberal sandwich.”

Meanwhile, I see at the Alex Jones sight the question of whether Ron Paul will win the Maine caucuses.  The answer appears to be no.

… also the Giants won.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

“It’s Halftime in America”.

Apparently this was the most popular, and controversial, commercial in the Superbowl.  It follows somewhat the tradition of a film created before last year’s Superbowl which was re-purposed for this year’s — which prodded the Steelers and the Packers as “coming out of the tradition that built his country” in a maudlin sentimental grouping of images for American myth-making … this year we saw the same video, but shortened, and with an obligatory reference to this year’s teams tossed in, a bit awkwardly because it’s New York and New Englad — Patriots and Giants…

Clint Eastwood’s ad…

Chrysler Group LLC’s U.S. dealers swung into action on Wednesday to rebut complaints that the auto maker’s emotional Super Bowl ad provided support to President Obama’s re-election campaign.
“We have no doubt that this ad had no political agenda of any kind but rather [was] a statement of fact and hope for the future for all of us and America,” the company’s National Dealer Council said following an emergency meeting. [...]
Oliver Francois, Chrysler’s chief marketing officer and architect of the ad, said he finds the controversy perplexing. “It was designed to deliver emotions and I don’t think emotions have a party. There was zero political message. It was meant more of a rally cry to get together and what makes us strong is our collective power and not our individual disagreements.”
At issue is whether the ad’s intent was to sell cars or to help President Barack Obama in this fall’s presidential campaign. His administration provided bailout funding and ushered Chrysler and rival General Motors Co. through a quick bankruptcy protection process in 2009.

The problem is that the automaker is telling a narrative to stitch itself into the “American fabric”, and the narrative happens to dovetail with public policy which is associated with the Obama Administration as against a Republican opposition (and, for that matter, opposition from the likes of Michael Moore, who would be one to point out that the ad white-washed some Union protester sign out of some snippets in the ad).  It’s politicized because the company is now politicized.  Mind you, though, to show that they’re tough Republicans and not wimpy liberals…

“To say it was a political favor is bull hockey,” said Valdosta, Ga., dealer Cass Burch, who owns two Chrysler stores. “That comment makes me want to fistfight somebody. Here I was overwhelmed with emotion and pride…It is bush league for them to take something that is so heroic and so patriotic about our company and to make it political.”

Um.  Groan.

In the spot actor Clint Eastwood intones: “Seems that we’ve have lost our hearts at times. The fog of division, discord and blame, made it hard to see what lies ahead but after those trials we all rallied around what was right and acted as one. Because that is what we do. We find a way through tough times and if we can’t find a way then we’ll make one. All that matters now is what’s ahead. How do we come from behind? How do we come together and how do we win?”
At this point we’re reminded of Obama’s Call for “ending divisions” political posturing — “This is not a collection of blue states and red states and etc.”  But really, this where your marketing of soap dove-tails with your marketing of politicians.

The following day, the advertisement became fodder for talk shows after Republican commentator Karl Rove told Fox News he was offended by the commercial. He described it as “a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics and the President of the United States and his political minions are in essence using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.”

Mm hm.
Wow.  Karl Rove, huh?

Another set of Republican caucuses and primaries, another item of deranged annoyance

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I got word over the weekend, in my hasty surfing of barely interested topics, that Santorum was poised for some big wins on Tuesday … for reasons that don’t quite make any sense except that apparently Gingrich flubbed some things and is generally disliked and that Mitt Romney is generally disliked as well.  So we get this result from Minnesota’s Caucuses.

Candidate Pct.
Santorum 44.9%
Paul 27.1
Romney 16.9
Gingrich 10.8
Others 0.3

And this result from Colorado.

Candidate Pct.
Santorum 40.2%
Romney 34.9
Gingrich 12.8
Paul 11.8
Others 0.3

And the Missouri Primary.  For what it’s worth.  There are no delegates coming out of this, and I don’t know what Missouri is doing here.  Apparently also Rick Santorum was the only man who bothered to show up in the state.

Rick Santorum
138,957 55% 0
Mitt Romney
63,826 25% 0
Ron Paul
30,641 12% 0
Uncommitted
9,859 4% 0

Yeesh.  Santorum.  No.  Really.  Rick Santorum.  His win is being credited to the brohauhau going on with the Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure issue.  Apparently you just need to whisper “abortion” into a dormant Republican state election and it’ll break the whole state wide open.

But aside from all the horse race business of where Mitt Romney gamely goes from here in charging up his Superpac to do something or other so that he can finally declare Victory on the Super Tuesday, if Newt Gingrich can dredge up the specter of George Soros in going after Rick Santorum, and how Rick Santorum will capitalize on his second wind…

Have we moved from an amusing contest where we see Newt Gingrich  (or, I guess, his rich benefactor) warble about against an inevitable Romney nomination to one where see Rick Santorum (or, I guess, his rich benefactor) warble about against an inevitable Romney nomination, and how does that affect the contours of both the political landscape and our entertainment spectacle of this thang?  (No more moon jokes, and more anus jokes?)

What I want to know from these election results:
Why is Minnesota Paul Country (relatively speaking) and not Colorado?  Is it simply better organization, or is there something endemic to Minnesota’s demographics and politics as against Colorado’s?

But really.  Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul need to heed the real enemy — who is warring everything except the Terrorists.

“nine out of ten objective observers”

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

From Losers: The Road to Everyplace but the White House, 1996… Michael Lewis

As I stand in the front row of the morning service I can see Pastor Ted (Haggard) — between trips to the pulpit — glancing at me out of the corner of his eye.  I know what he is thinking.  He’s thinking he has a convert.  I haven’t even time to spare for the afternoon service, however.  It is Gay Pride Week in Colorado Springs.  (“I don’t understand it,” says Pastor Ted, when I explain why I am leaving.  “It would be like having Murderer’s Pride Day.”)  The parade begins an hour after the morning service ends, and though it is a bit of a hike from the New Life Church it seems worth the trouble.  There I am met by Frank Whitworth, the head of the local gay activist organization Ground Zero and this year’s parade marshal.  He is nearly twenty years older than Pastor Ted and about twenty degrees rounder.  If the two men were placed side by side, nine out of ten objective observers would say Pastor Ted was the gay activist and Whitworth the evangelical pastor.  That is unlikely to happen, however.  In a town of three hundred thousand in the middle of nowhere, the protagonists of a struggle that has attracted the attention of the world have never met.  Pastor Ted has made no more effort to meet Whitworth than Whitworth has to meet him.

 

Also of interest: the Charles E Collins for President contingency and the description of the “Taxpayers Party Convention” of 1996.

Why must everything have a twitter feed?

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

I used one of the city’s public restrooms, the “Portland Loo”, and saw a sign pointing me to the restroom’s website, with a notice to follow the “Portland Loo” on twitter and facebook.

Why does the Portland Loo have a web presence?  Yes, these things are preferable to the public restrooms which tend to turn into dens of drug dealing — but Does this web presence serve any functioning purpose to its mission? 

In the late 1990s I was always musing that the web’s not where it needs to be, that we’re going to have to be moving away from a technologlical imperative of staring at a screen in a central location eventually.  That’s an evolving proposition, of course, but today I suppose now in the early teens my thought is that  the web’s not there yet, because it is perfunctory to set up social media feeds to allow people to follow a public restroom.

random thought on Mitt Romney

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
One thing I find strange about Romney is that his eyebrows come all the way down to (or start at) his eyeballs, with no skin in between. It’s got to BE there or he couldn’t blink, but darn his close up on TIME not long ago really emphasized this. At a distance it’s okay though.
Hm.  It bears to watch in that “Tallest Guy Wins” rule.  I guess this is better than something someone said to me when I was leafing through some items on Ron Paul.  “That guy looks like a cadaver!  Ever see him walk up to the stage?”  (Does a stiff walk demonstration.)
In Fred Karger campaign news:
Releases his tax returns.  From an institute named after George Romney.  Not bad for his gimmicky campaign.
Buddy Roemer seeks the America Elect thingy.  Because… what we need is to center the center.