Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sarah Palin gets p*wned by Sarcosie imposter--brilliantly hilarious

Palin gets p*wned. A prank call extraordinaire. They really get her going in this brilliant scheme. Prime Minister of Quebec? Hunting wolves from helicopters? It's all here--don't miss it. I especially love the way she says, "Hellowww!" like a Burlesque queen.

Rat Fink Authoritarian Conservatives: McCain/Palin Continue Hinky Tradition

John Dean hit upon the soul of the right wing when he defined the authoritarian impulse driving their world view in his book, Conservatives Without Conscience.

Here, he writes about how the McCain/Palin ticket fits the authoritarian mindset with characteristic dishonesty, secrecy and a seemingly free pass to masquerade insinuation and twisty words as the hallmarks of their insight.

masquerading specious arguments as insight, secrecy, stunning dishonesty and an impulse to rule rather than govern.

Republicans rule, rather than govern, when they are in power by imposing their authoritarian conservative philosophy on everyone, as their answer for everything. This works for them because their interest is in power, and in what it can do for those who think as they do. Ruling, of course, must be distinguished from governing, which is a more nuanced process that entails give-and-take and the kind of compromises that are often necessary to find a consensus and solutions that will best serve the interests of all Americans.

Republicans' authoritarian rule can also be characterized by its striking incivility and intolerance toward those who do not view the world as Republicans do. Their insufferable attitude is not dangerous in itself, but it is employed to accomplish what they want, which it to take care of themselves and those who work to keep them in power.

Authoritarian conservatives are primarily anti-government, except where they believe the government can be useful to impose moral or social order (for example, with respect to matters like abortion, prayer in schools, or prohibiting sexually-explicit information from public view). Similarly, Republicans' limited-government attitude does not apply regarding national security, where they feel there can never be too much government activity - nor are the rights and liberties of individuals respected when national security is involved. Authoritarian Republicans do oppose the government interfering with markets and the economy, however -- and generally oppose the government's doing anything to help anyone they feel should be able to help themselves.

In my book Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches, I set forth the facts regarding the consequences of the Republicans' controlling government for too many years. No Republican -- nor anyone else, for that matter -- has refuted these facts, and for good reason: They are irrefutable.

The McCain/Palin Ticket Perfectly Fits the Authoritarian Conservative Mold

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican candidates, have shown themselves to be unapologetic and archetypical authoritarian conservatives. Indeed, their campaign has warmed the hearts of fellow authoritarians, who applaud them for their negativity, nastiness, and dishonest ploys and only criticize them for not offering more of the same.

Check out Alternet for the rest of the article.

What happens when pumpkins drink too much?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Change he can believe in

This is my son, Jack. At 17, he's had Type 1 diabetes since he was eight and it is truly a BFD.

Being 17, Jack tends to avoid talking politics with me for fear I'll get passionate or something.

I'm known to do that.

Insert sentence about apples and trees here, because this afternoon, I heard him holding forth quite eloquently on one critical reason Obama must win: universal coverage (which the plan isn't, but it's a start) and coverage of people with preexisting conditions.

In the past few years, we've gone without insurance for maybe nine months. Our local pharmacies took a greater share of our income than any other line item.

Jack was paying attention. He said, "If I don't get a job with insurance, I'm screwed. Insulin and supplies runs about $500 a month, so if you're not really rich, you're screwed. I'll die without insulin. That's fucked up."

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we got our open enrollment forms for next year. The benefits are punier and the premium is higher. We're already paying five times as much as we did just four years ago. My husband raised the possibility of changing jobs if it was too high as we can barely afoord it now. That's fucked up.

If it weren't for company sponsored insurance, Jack and I wouldn't have insurance. We both have chronic diseases and we discovered there's not an insurance company in the world willing to write a policy for either one of us at any price. The only alternative to private insurance is Medicaid, and the rolls have already been cut to the point where the average person who lost coverage in Republican-dominated Missouri was a single mom with two kids, making $11,000 a year. That's fucked up, too.

I will take to the streets in revolution if there's an electoral repeat of the last two presidential elections.

Hockey Mama for Obama

This might be a Webster hockey mom, wearing a Blues jersey and all, and we're one of only a few communities with a hockey rink. Anyway, this is from my 17th century cousin again. She's a treasure trove.

Relief for the politically saturated: Colbert dances to Prince

Stephen Colbert:

Barack Obama, Religion and Government

A reasoned case for the separation of church and state. Imagine having a president who makes sense instead of sound bites.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

FiveThirtyEight: The Pollsters With Heart and Soul

Sean Quinn, one of our most brilliant young pollsters at FiveThirtyEight describes the early voting scene in Raleigh, N.C. with such heart and genuine appreciation for the historic gravitas of this election. Go read the whole thing, but the following bit got me where I live.

. . . There is something stirring in America.

Back at the rally, after the march had left MLK Gardens, I'd gone back for the car while Brett took photos, and I spotted a very old black man in a sharp Sunday suit walking slowly at the very back of the huge march. He hadn't yet arrived at the voting center, and I decided to find him when I got back.

I wanted to go talk to him, to ask him what this moment meant to him. He was a guy who you take one glance at, and know, that guy's seen it all. I wanted a quote. I had my journalist hat on. I thought, this will be great.

So when I got back to the voting location with the car, I went to find him in the line. Eventually I spotted him, and was ready to walk up the few feet between us and introduce myself when I stopped in my tracks.

A young black boy, no more than eight years old, walked up to this man, who was at least eighty. The boy offered the man a sticker, probably an "I Voted" sticker, but I couldn't see. The man took the sticker and paused. Silently, he looked down at the boy, who was looking back up at the man. The man put his hand gently on the boy's head, and I saw his eyes glisten.

I didn't ask the man for a quote. I didn't need to. I walked over by myself, behind the community center, and I sat down on a bench next to the track, and wept.

Me too. Me too.

Google and Stat Counter

Some sweet soul searched "she's too wristy" and wound up here.

There's no one as Irish as Barack Obama.

I met my cousin Kerry through genealogy, we have the same 17th century grandparents and you can't tell us apart. I'm lying again.

Anyway, she's from from San Francisco, where they know about things. This ought to persuade anyone sitting on the fence, doncha think?

The Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys give you permission to add extra verses.

Some people just break rules for no reason at all.

Amy Sedaris on feminine hygiene

Although it's basic cable, this is fairly graphic. Not for the easily shocked, and maybe not safe for work. Not only is it funny as hell, but I liked the symmetry of the siblings side by side..

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Undecided voters: which is it? Chicken or a platter of shit with bits of broken glass? David Sedaris, of course

Commentary from one of the finest wry minds I've seen working the public sector, David Sedaris, in the New Yorker.

Measures Already Taken to Suspend Constitutional Rights

Can this tide be turned? This video lays it out quite succinctly and illustrates what Frank Paynter and I were discussing a while back on his blog and mine, too.

When has such a body of maneuvering made this much unconstitutional action possible? And why would it have been put in place were it not to be used? Even at this late date, I wonder.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Skip the light fandango with me tonight

Procol Harem:

Goldwater Ad--In your heart you know he's right

Slouching Toward Bethlehem

I've thought of the poem often these past few years, having been impressed by its black insistent predictions as an undergrad. I do feel like madness has been loosed on the world in the form of magical thinking coupled with greed and corruption. The best lack conviction and the worst have been full of passionate intensity.

Scholarly note: I was taught that the gyre was a 2,000 year epoch, and the epoch Yeats refers to is the era of Christianity, not that you'd really know it. Bloody second coming is what the radical right would just love.

Here's the poem in its entirety:

The Second Coming
by W.B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Krugman relates it to our fine mess in the markets:

The Widening Gyre

Published: October 26, 2008
Economic data rarely inspire poetic thoughts. But as I was contemplating the latest set of numbers, I realized that I had William Butler Yeats running through my head: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer; / Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”

Skinheads, "Jewish Agency," Here's Sarah and Spiritual Warfare

ATF Disrupts Skinhead Plot to Assassin Obama and 102 high school kids.

Ms. Palin refers to the Israeli Embassy as the "Jewish Agency."

Hollywood eyeing Palin as host of her own talk television show

Palin's brand of spiritual warfare-
Its adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that “spiritual warriors” must “battle” them to assert God’s control, using prayer and evangelism. The movement’s fixation on demons, its aggressiveness and its leaders’ claims to exalted spiritual authority have troubled even some Pentecostal Christians.