Monthly Archives: July 2008

Britney disses McCain

What does it say about your campaign for president when even pop culture’s biggest media whore doesn’t want her image associated with you?
It says things are bad.

Britney Spears is someone who goes to the 7-11 sans underwear just to draw tabloid cameras.  and she doesn’t want her likeness in your ad?
For her to tell the McCain campaign not to use her likeness is telling.
It means the McCain campaign is not even resonating with the basest elements in pop culture. Even folks in trailer parks are telling McCain: Basta ya. You are embarassing us. So how low is this campaign gonna go?

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Contemptuous Rove

If George W Bush is not going to be held accountable for his high crimes and misdemeanors, hopefully we shall soon see what his brain looks like in prison stripes.  Thus it is satisfying to see that Karl Rove has just been held in contempt for failing to appear before Congress.

The House Judiciary Committee just voted to hold Rove in contempt for failing to testify about his involvement in the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.

It is unimaginable that Nancy Pelosi would refuse to allow this contempt citation go to the House Floor for a vote, and thus, I hope that Congress demands some jail time for this slimy Fox.  It is about time that some heads roll.

Joe Biden for Obama VP

Virginia Governor Kaine is currently receiving a great deal of press attention as a top choice Obama Veep selection.  I think he would make a safe, perhaps shrewd choice for Obama (perhaps help Obama win Virginia), and apparently he and Obama share a personal chemistry as well as Harvard pedigree.

Problem is Kaine is short on foreign policy experience and right leaning on women’s issues (choice, late term abortion), making the ticket vulnerable to attacks from the right and softening enthusiasm from women.  Also, Kaine is not so popular in Appalachia which hampers Obama’s attempt to attract the white working class voters that went to Hillary during the latter primaries.

Kathleen Sebelius would make for a more compelling ticket; Like Kaine, she is not seen as an ideological progressive and like Kaine she could help attract middle of the road voters; unless the Clintons really make an issue of Obama selecting a woman other than Hillary, Sebelius would also help enthuse Hillary supporters. She has a canny way of building bipartisan coalitions, and also shares a personal chemistry with Obama. Shortcomings include lack of foreign policy experience.

Joe Biden, the man who sometimes cannot stop talking showed during his aborted campaign that he can indeed run a disciplined campaign.  No one around, including McCain, has the foreign policy credentials that Biden would bring to the ticket; his age and experience also helps counter the fear of newcomers that still plagues the Obama campaign. Perhaps more important is that Biden relishes a good fight and has a way with words that complements Obama and would slice through the lies and other bs coming from the Republican candidate 527s and RNC. As I have suggested on an earlier post, I think Ed Rendell would serve this same purpose.  Obama’s high minded style would come off even more favorably in comparison to the bare knuckled approach of this veep choice.

The only downside is that Biden was twice a presidential aspirant, and might chafe a bit as number two, but hey, that’s the Lincoln way, and Obama would be smart to follow his model.

i think an Obama-Biden team would reduce McCain to the trash heap of history.

Immigration Judge Appointments Political?

Heads ought to roll in the DOJ as a result of today’s OIG Report about DOJ hiring practices. But they probably won’t. There simply is no accountability left in the Bush Administration, and once again, Congress and the Courts are likely to shrug this one off, as they have so many othr impeachable offenses revealed during the last several years.

DOJ hires are supposed to enforce federal law, so imagine what happens when DOJ hires are found breaking federal law. It goes to the DOJ.

The outcome?  Rather than be held to a higher standard, most DOJ lackeys likely will continue legal or consulting careers in the lucrative private sector. Perhaps Monica Goodling will lose her law license, but unfortunately she likely will be the only one held accuntable, and she is but the tip of this immense iceberg (larger than anything you’d see around the North Pole these days) of Bush corruption inside the DOJ.

Consider one example revealed in today’s Report.

Her cohort Kyle Sampson was behind DOJ appointment of Immigration Judges, top level civil service appointments (GS-16), who are hired to adjudicate immigrant removals and relief from deportation, not to serve the sitting president in a partisan way.

Even more lamentable is the following:   As egregious a broach of law as such appointments undoubtedly are, this isn’t the first time that immigration judges were hired for their political affiliation or policy sympathies.

Under Ed Meese, the Reagan DOJ issued the “Meese Memo” which instructed the OIJ to consider Nicaraguan applicants for political asylum to be refugees while applicants from El Salvador were considered economic migrants.  Further, it was widely believed during those years that extremely well qualified immigration lawyers democrats were being passed over for less well qualified republican sycophants.

Regrettably, the immmense amount of discretion that immigration law gives to IJs, coupled with the enormous gravitas of many asylum claims, gives many unqualified Bush appointments the sovereign powers of life and death over immigrants who have few rights to appeal adverse IJ decisions.

The issue of whether Monica Goodling loses her law license should pale before the amount of blood on the hands of the architects of this policy, both during the 1980s and now. If this is the Reagan that Bush had hoped to emulate, may the history books record that it was one of Reagan’s most shameful policy initiatives, and keep in mind, there were many.

John McCain, James Dean and “Truth”

Of all the weaknesses in the McCain campaign there is none so telling as the campaign’s disrespect for language.  Democratic society cannot exist without democratic discuourse, which is comprised of a respect for words, in written and oral form.  Hopefully the McCain campaign will learn this lesson come November.

Examples of George Bush’ disrespect for the English language are amply covered on You-Tube and many other sources.  Bush’s malapropisms make Yogi Berra sound like a wordsmith. But perhaps, Bush’s problem was as much a learning disability as it was laziness.

With John McCain, it is something more insidious. His contempt for words, precision, for truth for that matter is deliberate. 

Very much an “elite;” he is not rebelling against the system; he is the system, and yet, he is rebelling against something now as he did at Annapolis. 

The key is that McCain shows contempt for anything that can hold him accountable and nothing holds people accountable like words.

Here’ a way of making sense of Mccain’s recent kartuffles with the truth.  Consider that for McCain, skirting the English language is some deluded form of rebellion.  I can’t help but think that McCain thinks he’s James Dean, the rather inarticulate hero of his young adulthood, and that his disrespect for words is sort of like Deans’ disrespect for “The Man.”

In other words, the Republican candidate for president thinks he is being cool when he skirts the truth, denies ever saying words, phrases and sentences about timelines and troop withdrawls (today’s latest example). Those are just words McCain says, and he cannot be held accountable for mere words.  He squares up mere words against conditions on the ground, thus freeing himself up to say– with a stratight talk face– that troops should stay in Iraq for one hundred years, ten years, 16 mnths, yesterday…   His words don’t matter.

McCain denied to George Stephanopoulos ever having mentioned timelines, and then said it didn’t matter if he had. 

Words are “the Man” Fu#k the Man, fu#k words, man.

Cool enuf.  Problem is, words are all we have, no democracy without ’em, no democracy if we cannot trust what our leaders tell us today, or told us yesterday.  No democracy if no transparency, and no transparency without words and language.

McCain’s trouble with the truth and his contempt for language is troubling.

I think McCain’s trouble with words might well prove his downfall.  But perhaps this is wishful thinking.

Waddya Think?

Question:

Why is McCain running so close to Obama in the polls, when Obama should be 10-15 points ahead by now?

Obama Address Raises Two Questions

If Barack Obama had one obstacle to the presidency before the vote in November it was to appear presidential, and pass the commander in chief test. Today he crushed these obstacles. It was that good.  His speech in Berlin could have been given by John Kennedy, and was better than the one that Reagan delivered.

The speech was eloquent and fluid; it commanded respect and drew great favor with the crowd of more than 100 thousand. This is the first time I have seen live television shots of people in Europe waving american flags rather than wearing paper mache masks.

In terms of symbolism, Obama won the day on two counts: 1st, he passed the presidential threshold with aplomb; 2nd, he took substantial strides towards repairing america’s image on the world stage. if only he wins.

The speech leaves two challenges to consider:

1st has to do with the wall metaphor Obama used repeatedly, following Reagan. Reagan said to tear down the physical wall separating west and east; and the metaphorical wall of ideology separating these two hemispheres.

Obama echoed the sentiment that walls should and could come down; sounding a metaphor for race, religion and ethnic divisions around the globe. The challenge for Obama during this campaign is to propose a similar call to Boeing to take down the wall it is constructing along the US-Mexico border, with the ethnic and class divisions that coincide with construction of the virtual and physical fences to our south.

Second, is a challenge to the American people, which I think is an important subtext to the Obama speech.  Since it has become abundantly evident that Obama represents the sort of candidate that Americans say they are ready for, even crave: one who will replace the republican disaster of the past 8 years; one who can string together more than a couple half sentences that McBush passes off as a speech; one that appeals to the hopes and dreams of americans while regaining some respect in the world; one who pledges to end the war in Iraq…..  The challenge here is obvious: would americans elect a man whose father was born Kenyan.

The latest polls just released showing McCain having pulled ahead in Colorado and edging closer in minnesota and Michigan and this despite the horrendous gaffe-filled; competency questioning couple weeks McCain has had, well this speaks the challenge for americans to dig a little deeper here to see the real choices before them.