Friday, October 26, 2012

Mourdock Misunderstood

Richard Mourdock, Senate candidate in Indiana, has been getting a bum rap.  In asserting that victims of rape who become pregnant should not be eligible for abortion, he was offering a genuine profession of his religious faith.  Here in America we're supposed to appreciate expressions of religious faith by candidates for office.

God, as Mourdock knows well, is omniscient and omnipotent.  Omniscient, God obviously knows in advance when some sicko is preparing to rape an unsuspecting woman.  If the rape goes off as planned, it is clear that the omnipotent God was cool with it.

Granted, some Christians believe in free will (albeit not necessarily with respect to women freely exercising reproductive choices.)  As for Mourdock, if he loses the election, I'm sure he will humbly accept his loss as God's will.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recent Events

Yes, I watched the final presidential debate, albeit I had to watch a good deal of it on the C-SPAN replay because I fell asleep on the live broadcast.  Maybe it was because I had tuned to CNN, and my attention kept shifting to that line graph showing how a group of "undecided" Florida voters, separated by gender, were responding to what the candidates had to say.  Watching that graph was, well, somewhat hypnotic.  Whatever.  I passed out, but dutifully watched what I'd missed later on.

Mind you, though, it's not as if the debate itself was especially stimulating.  It sounded pretty much like Romney would not do anything different from Obama, with the possible exception of rattling his spear with greater emphasis.  The only one who's talked truth to Bibi Netanyahu recently is good old Jimmy Carter, who observed that Bibi has abandoned the two-state solution.  I think that's a valid observation.

So, let's consider what that entails.  If there's to be just one state, the choice is between Palestinian citizenship in Greater Israel — and apartheid.  Granted, the ultra-Orthodox Jews are reproductive marvels comparable to the proverbial bunnies, but I still think the Palestinians, given that they are starting with larger numbers, would emerge victorious in the fecundity Olympics.  Hence, it's either apartheid or bye-bye "Jewish State."

No, it's not an encouraging situation.

Getting back to the alleged "debate," I did not notice any mention whatsoever of Europe.  At the moment, the most significant economic problem for the United States is the fiscal fuck-up in Europe, driving down our manufacturing exports.  Why did Our President not bother to mention that the European austerity policies, which Republicans want to impose on us, over here, have pushed Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Ireland into depression and the UK and France into recession, soon to be followed by Germany and everybody else the Vaterland has bullied into submission?

It seems the GOP has done much too good a job creating deficit panic, and Obama is much too much of a pussy to fight back.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Remembering George McGovern

I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.
  — George McGovern

1972, as best I can recall, was the last time the Democratic Party ran a liberal.  Those were heady times.  Mind you, we never expected to win.  Frankly, we were pretty cynical in those days — despite "Let the Sun Shine In" and all the naked hippies at Woodstock.  Me, I'm even more cynical now than I was then.

Yes, I know.  Back then, we boomers were supposed to be idealists.  Well, we really weren't — at least not those of us with a few brains left in our stoned-out heads.  We were fighting a last-ditch effort.  We lost.

Now that McGovern is dead, a part of me also has died.  Who's left?  Who remembers?

I don't even want to think about the upcoming alleged debate, nor the ensuing election.  I'm feeling like 1972 was my last chance.  Yes, there are very powerful differences between Romney and Obama, so picking your idea of the lesser of two assholes should not be that difficult — but, as for me, I'll do my best to dream of George McGovern tonight.

Damn, I'm old.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Round Two

Earlier — 6 PM

I find it hard to believe that Gallup found 80 undecided voters in the vicinity of Hempstead, Long Island, who are not brain damaged.  Okay, brain damaged Long Islanders are not especially rare — as anybody who ever has driven the Long Island Expressway can testify — but then we would have to ask, "Who fed them the questions?"

Perhaps some people a bit more like me kept their political views undercover — both left and right.  How good was Gallup?  Who the hell knows?

Needless to say, Gallup should have picked me.  I'm not voting for either one of them, because both of them make me sick, and because New York is not a swing state, so who cares?  I have some good questions, which neither of them would especially like to answer — and those are the questions we really need.

Well, maybe not.  Maybe it's too late.  Seeya later.

Later — 11 PM

Why did they bother to have those strange looking people from Long Island sitting around, reading questions from cards?  Gallup may have done a reasonably good job, but I still wonder who wrote the questions.  The whole "town meeting" conceit is pretty ridiculous.

Anyway, nobody seems to have slipped Obama a mickey tonight, so he was his usual stiff self — and Romney, by comparison, looked like his usual stiff self instead of (by comparison) Ronald Reagan.  Anybody looking for charisma has a tough choice this year.

I guess the media will call it a draw, but I suspect Obama will get a bit of a lift — especially since, cleverly, he got the "47%" into his closing comment, so there was no opportunity for Romney to answer.

Really, though, I'm offended by all of it.  Oh, and, by the way, my questions were not asked,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ryan v. Biden

Ryan was pretty good, but Biden was Biden — and that's a pretty amazing thing to be.  Maybe Obama can call in sick next week and send in Biden as substitute debater.  Frankly, I wouldn't mind at all if Obama called in sick of politics and sent in Biden as substitute candidate.

People talk about Biden's "gaffes."  I don't call them gaffes.  I call them telling the truth.

I thought Martha Raddatz was really on top of things, but there's no doubt in my mind that the right will accuse her of bias because she showed so little tolerance for dissimulation and bullshit.  Maybe they'll let her do a presidential debate in 2016, but I wouldn't bet on it.

I especially enjoyed the closing statements.  Biden's pre-scripted remarks sounded sincere and authentic.  Ryan's pre-scripted remarks sounded like pre-scripted remarks.

Viva Biden.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Affirmative Action

Maybe I'm not so old after all, because they've been rehashing this shit nearly all my life — and here we go again.

So now the Supremes get to listen to the whining of young Abagail Fisher, who claims that some darkie got "her" place at UT Austin.  UT Austin says they wouldn't have let her in whatever her race.  Maybe that's true.  Who knows?

Anyway, here's the scoop: it doesn't make a damned bit of difference what kinds of "advantages" people of color have at the college level.  College is just too goddamned late.  We need affirmative action in preschool, pre-preschool, and throughout the rest of the "grades" between birth and college.  By the time a kid is considered for college, it's too late.

We need affirmative action for infants, toddlers, children and adolescents, both of color and also others of lesser socioeconomic advantage.  We need to level the playing field a hell of a lot earlier.

Of course, it's not happening.  Level playing fields are not "the American way."

Whatever the Supremes decides this time around, it doesn't really matter.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rockefeller Republicans

So I was listening to KCRW's  very entertaining podcast, "Left, Right, and Center," when somebody said that the recent debate was between two "Rockefeller Republicans.  Okay, Romney had moved to the center.  Obama scarcely moved at all — especially during the debate.

Yes, Romney had moved to the center, probably assuming (correctly) that the Republican base would vote for him over that socialist Muslim no matter what kind of triangulation he might attempt.  Also, I'm still suspecting that somebody slipped some Ritalin into Romney's caffeine free Diet Coke.

Me, I'm old enough to remember Nelson Rockefeller.  I was a Boy Scout when the governor came to visit us at Scout Camp, and a bunch of kids from Manhattan started singing, "H A doubleR I, M A N spells Harriman," which was the name of the Democratic incumbent governor he recently had defeated.  At the time, he didn't seem all that moderate, but it was nearly a decade before Nixon's southern strategy won over southern racists and two decades before Reagan.

Mostly, Rockefeller was a pragmatist — somebody who worked to identify problems and solve them.  If he were part of today's Democratic Party, he wouldn't even be a blue dog — he just wasn't that ideological.  In some ways, he reminds me a lot of Obama.

He always wanted to be president, but the closest he got was his appointment as vice-president by Gerald Ford — the appointee of an appointee.  In those lost, golden days, it would have been impossible for a man so notoriously rich to win the White House.

My, how things have changed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To my amazement...

Indeed, to my amazement, and despite a large glass of Irish whiskey, I did not fall asleep on tonight's debate.  I felt a good deal of empathy for Jim Lehrer.  It's a totally crappy job, but Jim had to do it.  From time to time, he looked really uncomfortable.

What I liked best was that it was pretty thoroughly wonky, and that they actually were allowed to address each other.  Most of America, I suspect, switched off to the entertainment networks early on.  Nevertheless, I stuck in there, looking for what actually counts — the emotional content.

Personally, I thought Romney looked kind of manic.  Those broad grins and wide, glittering eyes struck me as more than a little creepy.  Obama, mostly, looked old.  What's better or worse from the perspective of the American public — creepy or old?

I thought Obama passed up an excellent opportunity when he failed to assert that he based Obamacare on Romneycare because he thought it was conservative enough to attract some Republican support — given that it was a product of the Heritage Foundation.

What the hell.  The "undecideds," if such assholes actually exist, were watching "Storage Wars" or "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."  Indeed, I myself might have been watching "Bridezillas!"  (Well, actually not.)

Next up, Biden v. Ryan — which, I'm betting, will be the best debate of all, given that it is most likely to demonstrate that American politics is an exercise in idiocy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Voter Fraud

Well it appears that there well may be some voter fraud going on out there, despite the protestations of Democrats.  The problem for voter fraud blowhards on Fox, though, is that the fraudsters are not Democrats.

On the heels of voter suppression claims, which are getting varied responses in various states, this does not look especially good for the GOP.  On the other hand, most people haven't heard about it.  Few are paying attention.

The most significant problem with our voting systems, in my opinion, is that they are left to the states.  I've met quite a few of my State Senators and Assemblymen, and quite a few of them are either self-aggrandizing assholes or just pure, out-and-out, morons.  Honestly, I don't think a majority are corrupt.  Most of them are just too stupid to get away with corruption for more than a week or two — but they still feel obliged to take orders from those few who actually are smart enough to be corrupt.

It follows that a particular state's voting laws will favor the inclinations of the power brokers in that particular state, no matter what the state's political leanings.  There are a few extra restrictions on states (and/or counties) with histories of particularly blatant racism but, generally speaking, the power brokers have their way.

Every couple of years, we hear about a tossup — elections that must wait for the absentee ballots to be counted before a winner is decided.  It happened in my Congressional District in 2010.

Now, when you stop to think about it, it's a hell of a lot easier to perpetrate voter fraud by absentee ballot than by showing up in person and risking years in federal prison.  What are the Republican — or, for that matter, the Democrats — doing about that?

My mother died in 2005.  My guess is that she's still on the voter rolls, because expunging dead people from the rolls costs the state money — and states don't have a lot of money, and state politicians rather would spend it on winning the votes of living voters instead of my deceased mother.

I will not cast my deceased mother's vote, even though I know how she would have wanted to vote before she developed dementia and died — and even though her vote might help fight off an especially repulsive onslaught on my Congressman by Karl Rove and the billionaires of Crossroads GPS.

Why should I?  One way or the other, it's pretty much all in the bag.