I've been in and out of e-contact this week, so my glimpses of the national scene have been as if viewed by strobe light.
However, here are a few of the more interesting things I read this week.
First, my Friend Elsie of True Green Studios, sent me the following commentary from Garrison Kellior.
It was your money they were messing with. And that's why you need government regulators. Gimlet-eyed men with steel-rim glasses and crepe-soled shoes who check the numbers and have the power to say, "This is a scam and a hustle and either you cease and desist or you spend a few years in a minimum-security federal facility playing backgammon."
The Republican Party used to specialize in gimlet-eyed, steel-rim, crepe-soled common sense and then it was taken over by crooked preachers who demand we trust them because they're packing a Bible and God sent them on a mission to enact lower taxes, less government. Except when things crash, and then government has to pick up the pieces.
Also, when I saw that Katie Couric would be the one handling the Palin interview, I thought, oh god: The Blond leading the Bland....but as Nation points out, only Nixon could go to China, and only Katie could have dragged Palin out where Tina Fey could masticate her (in some cases, by simply quoting the Alaska governor word for word.)
Meanwhile, I tend to support the idea of a bailout (and the hiring of a lot of new financial cops) but here is an interesting read from the Christian Science Monitor that says the opposite. Certainly food for thought.
The premise is that doing nothing will hasten recession. And recession is unacceptable.
But that kind of thinking is a big reason we're now on the verge of a financial meltdown. By taking a zero-tolerance policy toward recession, Washington has dangerously juiced the economy with monetary steroids for more than a decade.
The painful truth is that recession may be precisely what's needed to restore economic health. Yet the bailout attempts to avoid this crucial reckoning – which may make things worse.
I'm sitting in a San Diego Hotel getting ready to venture out into the world and listening to CNN drone in the background. "Two Big Questions this morning: Will there Be a Bailout? Will there be a Debate?"
John McCain has said he probably will NOT attend the first Debate with Barak Obama- because the Financial Crisis is too important to waste time on Politics.
The really sad thing, to me, is that the whole I idea of "politics" has become so alien to much of the American public, that John McCain thinks he can get away with this.
The reason that we are in this mess is that we, as a people, have spent recent years believing that politics is not important, or that our participation is of no value.
It is in Politics that we, the people, get to have our voices heard. It is during the political process that the navigators of our public policy have to answer to us.
Yet, John McCain has followed the line that "politics" is not important- and so he may NOT come before the American People tonight- even as he auditions for the most important job in the nation.
We, the people, have a RIGHT to see these debates. The last 8 years are probably the clearest example of what damage the WRONG MAN in the WRONG PLACE at the WRONG TIME can do...we have a right, and an obligation, to take a close look this time.
So, to John McCain- show up! We the people deserve and demand it!
He was good in Batman, but he's even better in the U.S. Senate. Here is a short and sweet speach by Vermont's own Patrick Leahy...watch the crowd shots of the Vermont Delegation for Philip Baruth and other Vermonters you may know.
Here's a link - sent to me by my friend Elsie in Florida- in which, not knowing that the mike was still on- a couple of Republican prognosticators say what they REALLY think....what was that Sarah Palin was saying last night about "Democrats" who say one thing to one crowd and something else to themselves....I think we see here that REPUBLICANS are pretty good at hypocrisy!
I've just been listening to Joe Lieberman's speech to the Republican National Convention. It is maddening to watch a one-time Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee pandering to the Republicans. (On the other hand, if it hadn't been for a certain type of "Democrat" - hell bent on Revolution, and ignoring the wide spectrum of opinion in our party- we would still have Joe Lieberman on the INSIDE of the tent pissing OUT than OUTSIDE the tent pissing IN- so, I suppose he deserves a little bit of revenge. Still, I won't be buying him any drinks in the near future, that's for sure.)
But there is a silver lining in the cloud. Lieberman, in his praise of what makes McCain different from others of his party, inadvertently exposed and underlined what makes the Republicans repugnant and resistant to the change America needs. For example, Lieberman said:
Let me, as John would say, give you some straight talk here. If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would have taken on corrupt Republican lobbyists, or big corporations that were cheating the American people, or powerful colleagues in Congress who were wasting taxpayer money. But he did.
If John McCain was another go-along partisan politician, he never would have led the fight to fix our broken immigration system or actually do something about global warming. But he did.
As a matter of fact, friends...
And this is where it got interesting. After Lieberman praised these qualities of McCain and his willingness to tackle "immigration" and "global warming" - there was a nice long pregnant pause in the auditorium...until, perhaps, some technician finally turned on the "Applause" sign to remind these Neanderthals that they were supposed to clap.
Left to their own, the right wing would have sat on their hands to be sure.
Also, Joe Lieberman actually got the GOP to applaud some of the great things accomplished by Bill Clinton.
In actuality, a lot of Lieberman's speech is pretty good...except that he reaches the wrong conclusions. John McCain may, or may not, be a decent guy, but it is the party he belongs to, in the end, which will set the agenda- and you can tell by the places where the Republicans sit on their hands where they will, and will not, let John McCain take the country (even if he wants to go there).
Check out the New York Times for a video and transcript of Judas's oooops, Joe's speech
"Ah Come on... She's an ex-beauty queen besides. And an avid hunter. Member of the NRA. Her husband is some kind of fishing guide, and works on an oil rig in the off season. He races snowmobiles. It's not just about Hillary's supporters--they're going after the GUY vote. The McCain people will probably put out scratch lottery tickets as a fundraising gimick--Swimsuit editions."
This echos the sentiments over at Politico, where they point out that, while the "media elite" mock Palin's lack of experience, she has energized both the gun totin' and abortion blockin' segments of the GOP base- previously lukewarm to McCain:
"Most importantly for McCain, the two constituencies who are most energized by Palin just happen to be the twin grassroots pillars of the GOP: anti-abortion activists and pro-Second Amendment enthusiasts and sportsmen. Without these two camps making phone calls, stuffing envelopes and knocking on doors, Republican presidential candidates would severely lack for volunteers. They are critical to the health of the conservative coalition that has dominated Republican politics for a generation."
JD Ryan tosses out the observation that "we have our first MILF candidate" - if you don't know what that means, look it up for yourself, I'm not the one to tell you.
The topic has engendered an interesting discussion as well. I watched Sarah Palin's introductory speech- and my ears perked up when she praised SENATOR Hillary Rodam Clinton for putting "18 million" cracks in the glass ceiling...
...I did a double take (when a Republican praises Hillary Clinton, who, up until about 12 months ago was the monster witch of the GOP world- you just KNOW they are up to something slippery)...and saw that this Sarah Palin character was a pretty good stink bomb after all.
The temptation to score cheap points off the "other side" is very hard to resist. In this world where intelligent discourse has all but evaporated- a quick one-liner that makes your opponent look contemptible in 30 seconds or less is tough to pass up.
Many of us (males) WILL be unable to resist the temptation of VPILF comments- it's just too damn EASY- many women will spend time taking down males who make those comments...and All that Time spent on the debate over inappropriate humor will take time AWAY from McSame Bashing- which is more important.
On a related note, Sarah Palin's background is going to lead to some interesting stuff as well...tough for Democrats to resist, but which should be resisted, because of the battleground states we HAVE to win.
This is "working class" issue. Democrats sincerely have the best interest of the working class at heart, but we are often uncomfortable with the appearance, attitudes and pastimes of the working class (one might venture to guess that, as we gained the education that informs our opinions, we also soaked up a little, hummm, snobbery?)
At any rate, this picture appeared on Politco. It shows a college-age Palin wearing a very slightly risque t-shirt.
Here is another area where it's REALLY tempting to have cheap fun. The big 80s hair, the stupid t-shirt (It reads "I may be broke, but I'm not flat busted"), and just the general red-neck fantasia feeling of the photo make it all but irresistible for a certain type of Democrat. Red Meat, as it were, for Blue America... My message to all: RESIST!
Here is an interesting quote- I certainly wouldn't have thought of it myself- but it gives me pause-
Isn't that photo a good thing? That's a real person. A girl next door who decided she's had enough and decided to get involved. And now look at her. From that photo to this time: She took on her own party and big oil and now she could be the next VP of the United States of America. Gee, isn't America great! What's wrong with that photo? Nothing! She should be an inspiration for all regular people to get involved and you never know what's going to happen if you stay true to your convictions. Staying true to your convictions doesn't mean you have to be a hardened politician. Look at her then and look at her now...she a testament to what can happen to you if you just get involved. mike t.
This quote was buried in the midst of a heap of derogatory comments. But it is a useful to remember that many Americans will not look at this picture and see trailer trash...lot of voters will look at that photo and see somebody they know...themselves. These are exactly the people whose votes we need.
I was born in Orlando Florida
in 1969. I moved to Vermont in 1979- arriving with a thick Southern Accent.
After a long search for what I wanted to do when I grew up, I decided not to grow up at all.
I produce Radio Advertising and do voice-overs for a living.
In my free time I read a lot of American History and current Poltics-- I keep wondering: from where we started, how did we wind up here?
I now live with my wife and (too) many cats in Minnesota.
If you like Rip and Read, check out MWMB: The Podcast. Alex and his ex-brother-in-law are no longer in the same family, but they've carried the post thanksgiving dinner arguments onto the internet. Don't turn to elitist commentators, we are are your source for HOMEMADE Rhetoric!