The Blind Right & McCain’s Inexperience

I’m popping through Sirius talk stations and catch Bill Bennett saying that the focus on foreign policy has had the effect of showing how callow and inexperienced Barack Obama is. Bill Bennett is a tool.

As Crooks and Liars pointed out earlier this week, while Obama – a while back – got pummeled for slipping and referencing the “president of Canada,” McCain’s multiple references to policy concerning Czechoslovakia, a country that has not existed for 15 years, have largely gone unnoticed.

This mindset is part of the pass McCain is enjoying in the media: despite repeated and multiple mistakes and contradictions and flip-flops, everyone’s just sitting back with a shit grin on their face saying “s’all good.”

To be clear: John McCain does not qualify for POTUS because he is a veteran, is not experienced at foreign policy because he got off his ass in DC once in a while and visited foreign countries, and does not garner my respect simply because he is my elder; he’s pretty much everyone’s elder, and respect must be earned.

Old != Wise

McCain’s $300 Million Blunder

John McCain is proposing a prize of $300 million to show he cares about the environment, too, durnit!

The Arizona senator proposed a $300 million prize for whoever can develop a better automobile battery, and $5,000 tax credits for consumers who buy new zero-emission vehicles. The latest proposal is in addition to his support for overturning the federal ban on offshore oil drilling.

How much better? Eh, he didn’t say.

Is there a end date, a realistic goal? Eh, he didn’t say.

Does McCain have any practical knowledge of how batteries work that would lead him to believe – aside from tapping his fairy wand – that this is a tangible goal? Eh, he didn’t say. And if he did, he’d probably cite Moore’s Law and then call anyone who corrected him an intellectual elitist.

This is the most half-assed political posturing I’ve seen in a while.

The Era of Bad Feelings Infects the Democratic Party

If early 1800s represented an Era of Good Feelings, our times should go down in history as the Era of Bad Feelings. Nowhere has that been better exemplified than in the current nastiness pervading the Democratic Party. Although Barack Obama has for all extensive purposes won the nomination, the forces of Hillary Clinton claim she deserves to be the candidate and that they would rather vote for someone else or not vote at all than vote for Obama. Continue reading

Americans Are In Trouble: Debt, Declining Life Expectancy, Shorter Too

Thinking of Bobby Kennedy’s real passion during his ’68 campaign for the American worker highlights exactly why our candidates – and our next president – needs to pay some serious attention to the plight of Americans, especially those of the working and middle class.

Yet everybody better start paying attention to the American worker, who is greater in debt (less and less see any relief from debt outside of bankruptcy or death), more likely to have to work two jobs or more just to survive, less likely to receive appropriate and timely health care, and under greater measures levels of clinical depression, fatigue, and stress than ever before. See my next (up) post.

New studies show Americans across the board (rather than pockets of wild wealth in a sea of people who have relatively little to nothing in comparison) are doing much worse financially than their European peers, AND that both our height and life expectancy is turning from new longevity to a shortening (yes, we’re living less longer and no longer growing as tall as our European neighbors, which is believed due to our harsh working schedule, bad diet, and far less accessibility to health care since most civilized nations have some type of universal access to care).

Oh, and our infant mortality rate is on its way back up. Not good.

Interestingly, the beginning of the “change” we’re seeing in less health for Americans dates back to about 1982. Hmmm… Reagan was in office, and advocating an economy that allowed for a handful of rich fatcats with the rest forced to buy his bumper sticker foreign policy. Much of the rule since 1982 has been Republican. Coincidence?

Not Exactly Hugs Between Hillary And Barack, But That’s OK

The media has waited with baited breath – and a volume of verbiage the world has rarely seen outside of coverage of Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears’ crotches – for Hillary to do her concession bit and for the two to hug and cry together. But they’re not giving that to us – at least, not yet. And either way, it’s OK.

I don’t want this to be a presidency driven solely by sound bytes and carefully crafted media images. I don’t expect two people who’ve fought so hard for their own campaigns (or the myriad thousands who’ve labored for them) to sudden love each other and make nice.

I don’t want Hillary Clinton named VP (and I think any announcement there will come much closer to the convention, if not at the convention itself in late August in Denver) simply because she was “the other candidate.” If there’s a better person for the Obama Democratic ticket, then I want that person considered. We’re not into legacies here, unless it’s the legacy for ALL of America, and not for a relatively privileged few (named Bush or Clinton or Kennedy, et al).

But what we need most of all is for the American people to unite in an understanding that the way ahead is tough regardless of how we go: that we may have to accept a period of increased hardship to try to get this nation – and the world that watches it – back on track. We’re already hurting; we can probably survive a little more.

And unlike the Bush-McCain technique, we need to take care of America’s working and middle classes through good education, job training, health care, and so much more. The Bush-McCain technique is to give and give to the wealthiest, and the rest have to wait til it trickles down the inner leg of the fatcat Republican peeing gold.

Who Will Be The New Congressional Democratic Lions?

I hate to bring up such a sad subject at such a tough time but, considering times don’t appear headed for wild wonderfulness any year soon and the subject’s too important to ignore, here goes:

With the hospitalizations of two of the Senate longest reigning Democrats, Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who will be our new lions? Do we have any in the making?

Vermont’s newest Senator, long-time Socialist House Rep, Bernie Sanders is already proving to be a fire brand. But he arrived in the upper house a bit late. Wellstone is dead. Corzine, who showed promise, went to be governor of New Jersey. We’ll have to see if Hillary and Barack remain in the Senate after this year (some speculation has Hillary being handed the governorship of New York on a platter, but I’d love to see what resigned-gov Eliot Spitzer’s replacement, David Patterson as the state’s first leader of color, will do).

Have any contenders we should watch for?

Late Night Political Jokes

“John McCain’s in the news. Earlier today, John McCain released 1,200 pages of his medical records. Or, as his doctor calls it, Chapter One.” –Conan O’Brien

“I guess McCain is scheduled to meet with three possible vice presidential nominees this weekend at his home. The candidates are very excited to go. They say the only downside — they hate it when he keeps pushing that bowl of ribbon candy on them. ‘Try the butterscotch.'” –Jay Leno

“Well, actually, on the news, they stress that these vice presidential meetings were only preliminary. And before any final decision is made, they say that McCain will sit down with his senior advisers. His senior advisers? The guy is 71. What, are they from the Millard Fillmore administration?” –Jay Leno

“And McCain released 1,200 pages of medical documents this week, to prove that he is healthy. 1,200 pages to prove he’s healthy? Man. Man, how many does Dick Cheney have? My God!” –Jay Leno
Continue reading

Beat The Press: Play The Political Junkie 2008 Presidential Trivia Contest

I have such confidence in you that I’ll bet my best cup of coffee that you’ll score higher than a Dana Milbank or a David Sirota on this trivia challenge at The Week Behind.

I won’t say you’ll score better than a George Bush, because he’d have to be able to read to take the test and… well…. he’s cognitively challenged (to say the least).

McCain VP Possibility Charlie Crist, Gov of Florida, Has Sex Tape Surface

The more moral the Republican, the deeper the kink and the more likely (ick) there is video evidence. Jeb Bush, the president’s brother whom Crist replaced as the GOP governor of the state, was fortunately too fat to allow video taping. Cough.

No word on whether Paris Hilton is in Crist’s sex tape. Rumors that Michael Jackson’s chimp, Bubbles, participated is also uncomfirmed. Snort.

DNC: Will Democratic Race End Soon?

Well, this is the weekend the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Convention meets to hammer out what’s happening with delegates and super delegates, Florida and Michigan primary votes and what to do with them, et al.

Both DNC chair Howard Dean and many other ranking Dems have said they expect the race to be over soon after June 3rd, the date of the last scheduled donkey primary; that a commitment from superDs on who they’ll cast ballots for is wanted soon thereafter.

Yet others are beginning to suggest this is a race that may continue all summer through to the Dem National Convention in Colorado, the first time the convention’s been a real political potboiler since at least 1972. And I’m not sure Dems would be hurt badly by a later decision either: as long as the DNC continues its smart ads that target John McCain rather than a Hillary Clinton or a Barack Obama, I doubt there’s a danger. We’ve seen an exodus AWAY from the Republican and even the uncommitted voters coming into this presidential election cycle; I strongly resist the notion that something will magically drive these candidates back to Mad Dog McCain. You?

The Right “Puzzled” By McClellan’s Criticism

You know, I wasn’t inclined to pay much attention to fomer White House spokesman Scott McClellan’s new book about his tenure beginning soon after our dance of death began in Iraq. As McClellan took the job, we heard a lot about how decent a guy Scotty was and that the only explanation for him taking a job like that was loyalty to Bush. Strange how loyalty with a Bush lasts only so long, eh?

But I tell you, the more the right jumps up – from current and former WH bigwigs to semi-dead former righties (like Bob Dole) to Republcans-dressed-as-objective-news-consultants (like William Bennett, Karl Rove, et al) – to denounce the book and McClellan, the more they’re convincing me to buy it.

I mean, why else would the right mount such a campaign over a relatively small disagreement in perspective? It’s not like the American people like Bush anymore. They’re trying to protect their own, which includes a lot of people who want to ride back into another term under the third Bush term known as the first McCain term.

Maybe you should read McClellan’s book, too. Then you can learn more for yourself how Bush was intimately involved in the “outing” of Valerie Plame, then one of the CIA’s major agents on WMD, at a time when Plame was invaluable to our “ending terrorism”. But Bush had to have her “put down” because it was more important to smarm anything attached to Plame’s critical hubby, former Iraq ambassador Joe Wilson, than to stop real WMD in the world.

No, don’t get me wrong: McClellan is no hero for telling us now. If he’d outed Bush at the time, however…. But the book might be worth a read if only to see what other scum surfaces in it.

What The (Bleep) Is Wrong With Lieberman, Installment #9284

Now, to be fair, it’s never taken all that damned much to get Connecticut Senator (formerly Dem, now independently installed up the butt of the Bush/McCainies) Joe Lieberman to wander off the reservation. And whenever he wanders, it reminds you that the mind is one hell of a thing to waste but that his is more like loooonnnnng overpoached goose.

Yesterday was no exception for Joltin’ Joe-mentum. He rushed to the defense of nutcase tighty righty McCain religious nut, Rev. Hagee, who had JUST announced that Jews were at least partly responsible for their own genecide in the Holocaust. Lieberman defended this man (and I use the term man oh so loosely), but declined to answer questions re: whether he would allow Hagee to annihilate him because Lieberman is clinically depressing.

I’d call Joe an ass, but the anal sphincter is useful at least once a day whereas I can’t recall the last time my former senator (Lieberman) was ever useful (unless trying to inflict a sick migraine headache upon yourself).

In Brief: McCain Off the Rails on GI Bill

Today, Presidential candidate John McCain stated:

And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.

And by doing so, marginalized about 98% of Americans – including myself – who have an opinion about Iraq and feel we can better our country and world in a way other than joining the military.

(Here is where I try to distill my frustration into a well-crafted, eloquent paragraph about how this man is wrong in his assumptions and how the People will rise up to say such and pull down the absurdity of the statement, but end up going with…)

What a dick.

Predictably McCain: On GI Bill, The More Wrong He Is, The More He Insists He’s Right

Has John McCain ever, EVER just admitted he was wrong? I mean, less than twenty plus years after the error, like in fighting Arizona making Martin Luther King Day a holiday.

To choose the Memorial Day weekend to defend his insistence that he’s right in his failure to support the GI Bill truly is unconscionable. But my, oh my, is he ever showing “the Bush support” of our soldiers: giving them the shaft even faster than they shaft the enemy, whoever that is (and I tend to think our biggest fears should lie in the Bushies/McCainies).

Republicans Decree Iraq Surge “Worked Beautifully”, No One Challenges

Have you noticed?

Despite how obvious it was that the Pentagon and the Bush Administration, in their most recent assessment of Bush’s big escalation of war in early 2007, were lying about how “peachy” the situation in Iraq is, all the Republican talking heads on TV now note that the surge worked, that this is indisputable fact, and that the only people who would claim Iraq isn’t going well are hateful, God-ridiculing Democrats.

They’ll claim this even when we see GI deaths going up again, larger and larger suicide bombings, on days when “insurgents” nearly blew up the First Lady of Iraq and days when they just sit back and watch “the American saviors” unintentionally kill a slew of civilians due to “bad intelligence.”

The worst part of all this, however, is that some of the relatively non-partisan news anchors and reporters don’t challenge the GOPers when they make this outrageous claim. A Republican strategist will let loose with the pronouncement of how wonderful Iraq is and, even if the headlines just reported another big bombing, the anchor sits without uttering a single question or asking the basis for such a preposterous claim.