Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin "an intensely political choice"?? Nah, John McCain wouldn't do THAT!

Karl Christian Rove is apparently part of the the McCain Presidential Campaign "brain" trust, so you know he had to have had SOME input on choosing Alaska Governor and former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. Being that McCain had previously only met Palin once before asking her to be his running mate, good ol' Karl has to have his slimy fingerprints all over this stroke-of-(NOT) genius decision!

Not that consistency in words or actions is Mr. Rove's or his party's forte, but before Barack Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate, when there was talk of possibly choosing Tim Kaine, the Governor of Virginia, as the Dem's VP nominee, our Mr. Rove had this to say when he was interviewed on Face The Nation (as you read his words, think about McCain's choice of Palin):
With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he’s been a governor for three years, he’s been able but undistinguished. I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that he’s done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it’s smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; north Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It’s not a big town. So if he were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, `You know what? I’m really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States?'
(Thanks to Crooks & Liars for this quote.)

I wonder how good ol' Karl justifies McCain's blatantly & "intensely political choice" of Palin? Just wait, he'll whip up some half-baked double-talk to try to convince us that we don't see what we know we see.

According to the 2000 US Census, Wasilla, Alaska had a population of 5,469; Richmond, Virginia had a population of 197,790 (that's 36 times larger than Wasilla). The state of Alaska had 626,932 people in 2000 compared to the state of Virginia's population of 7,078,515 (11 times more people than in Alaska). I wonder if that concerns Karl at all??? Wait--I forgot--we're talking about Karl "I-Have-THE-Math" Rove; of course, he's not concerned.

So, according to Karl's "logic," and considering he is so intimately involved in the McCain campaign, you HAVE to assume that John McCain, in picking his running mate, must have been thinking, "You know what? I’m really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States."

Bottom line (for me), McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate was more than an "intensely political choice", it was a pure desperation move in an attempt to woo all those former Hillary voters who were disappointed that she didn't win the Democratic nomination & to shore up his support amongst the far right social conservatives. He might be right about making the fundies happy, but McCain must think that the only thing that matters to the Hillary voters is the gender of the candidate & that Palin's stance on the issues is irrelevant, because Sarah Palin & Hillary Clinton disagree on 95% of the time (only an estimate based on what I've seen so far on Palin's political stances thus far).

Being that Palin is a true dyed-in-the-wool Pat Buchanan-loving right-winger, John McCain knows that his choice for VP will give the ultra-conservatives of his party (who aren't necessarily ecstatic about him personally) a convenient case of the warm-and-fuzzies while probably believing he's getting a two-fer in throwing a bone to the Clinton supporters by showing that he's firmly in touch with his post-feminist side.

If there really are any true-blue Clinton supporters who intend to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket on the sole basis that one of the candidates possesses two X chromosomes (especially considering Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's longtime REAL support for women's rights), then they (1) must not care that Palin says she can't stand Hillary Clinton's "whining"; (2) were never really paying attention to and/or don't care about what Hillary stood/stands for; and (3) were never really considering voting for Obama/Biden in the first place.

Oh yeah, and that line that the McCain campaign loves using about being ready to lead on "Day One" as a way to make people believe that Obama somehow ISN'T ready, has REALLY gone out the window with the choice of Palin, as has the last vestige of the illusion that John McCain has the judgment necessary to effectively lead the world's only superpower. On military & foreign policy issues, Sarah Palin makes Barack Obama look like Henry Kissinger!

How hollow now ring the words of another of the McCain campaign's favorite taglines, "Country First"? This desperate move belies the patriotic theme that the Republicans have tried to hone to a fine art & reveals the same old tired, ugly hypocrisy of just another politician whose real objective is the same as it ever was: "Election First". The Rove/Bush political playbook obviously hasn't changed much since the glory days of the 2000 and 2004 elections: fire up the true-believers & the foot soldiers on the fringe right, while playing "Divide & Conquer" in an attempt to pick up a few of what the Republicans see as the sore losers on the other side intent on cutting their noses off to spite their faces. For most of us, of course, this single choice removes all doubt that in 2008, for the Republicans, it is still, still, still, Party Before Country; all the manufactured impassioned insistence to the contrary reminds me of the line by Shakespeare in Macbeth--"a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

In reading one of the online Alaska newspapers, the Anchorage Daily News, I thought it was telling how Alaska's Republican State Senate President, Lyda Green (who is from Wasilla) and presumably knows the state's governor pretty well (almost certainly MUCH better than John McCain knows her), greeted the news of Palin being McCain's Chosen One: "She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" Ouch! That's gotta hurt!

Democratic Party strategist, Paul Begala, was spot-on when he wrote for CNN:
For months, the McCainiacs have said they will run on his judgment and experience. In his first presidential decision, John McCain has shown that he is willing to endanger his country, potentially leaving it in the hands of someone who simply has no business being a heartbeat away from the most powerful, complicated, difficult job in human history.
As for the VP debate that is scheduled to take place on October 2 at Washington University in St. Louis, it should be interesting to see Joe Biden & Sarah Palin on stage together discussing the important issues of the day, and explaining why they each feel qualified to be, as Paul put it, "a heartbeat from" the ultimate job promotion.

Sept. 1, 2008 P.S. John Kerry says McCain's choice of Palin shows that McCain is a "prisoner of the Right Wing" of his party.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Katrina 3 years later

A musical tribute to those who still are unable to go home by U2 & Green Day...

"You gotta have (GLBTQI) Friends!"

"I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination."
from Barack Obama's Democratic Party
nomination acceptance speech in Denver,
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008

P.S. My 2nd most favorite line from the speech has nothing to do with GLBTQI rights per se, but I had to mention it: "John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell – but he won't even go to the cave where he lives."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Barack & Joe

I got my text message at 3:11 a.m. Saturday morning announcing Barack Obama's choice of Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his Vice-Presidential running mate, and (as you may suspect) I am quite pleased with the choice. I am familiar with Joe Biden's great work all these years & I know that for a 60+ year old Irish heterosexual white Roman Catholic male, he's pretty supportive of the GLBTQI community (he's not perfect in his support of our rights, mind you, but--considering his background--like Barack, he doesn't see us as the enemy & he appears to keep an open mind, so it's a good start).

After listening to Senator Biden yesterday in his first joint appearance with hopefully the next President of the United States in Springfield, Illinois where Senator Obama began his campaign, I can see why Obama picked Biden. Joe came running up on the platform, ready & rarin' to go & he spoke passionately about how it feels to be a regular working guy (or gal) & trying to make ends meet in an economy that only a multi-millionaire could love. He spoke about how the American people can overcome any obstacle if they have a leader who will actually lead. He also took a few opening shots at Senator McCain. McCain is obviously Biden's colleague and even his friend, but he wasn't afraid to explain why McCain was a bad choice for our country, and how electing the Senator from Arizona was nothing more than stamp of approval on Bush's failed presidency, and how we can't afford 4 more years of the same old same old. He even got the chance to reference McCain's lack of knowledge on how many homes he owns. When he was speaking about what it's like, after you put the kids to bed at night, sitting at the kitchen table & wondering how to get all the bills paid, he said that McCain doesn't know what that's like because he'd have a hard time trying to figure out which of the 7 kitchen tables to even sit at!

I was impressed, too, with Joe Biden's life story. When he was first elected to the U.S. Senate, before he even took office, his family was in a horrific car accident where he lost his wife & his daughter. His two sons survived, but had to be hospitalized (his son, Beau, who is Delaware's Attorney General, is being deployed to Iraq this October, by the way). When it came time to be sworn into office, he wasn't on the floor of the Senate with his colleagues, he was in the hospital with his sons. He even considered not going on with his Senate career. Anyone in his position would have probably done the same thing, but instead of giving into the grief & the unspeakable sense of loss, he soldiered on & began the work that his family had supported him in...luckily for the rest of us.

Joe also underwent brain surgery in 1988 for two life-threatening brain aneurysms, from which it took him seven months to recuperate, and yet, here he is. After having personally endured not only the loss of his wife & daughter, but nearly his own life, Joe Biden has continued his good work in the U.S. Senate for the country he obviously loves. He had every reason in the world to just give up & go back home, but it wasn't what his father taught him. Not to diminish or minimize what Joe has had to endure, but he obviously knows that some fights are worth a few scars. In his speech yesterday, he recalled how his dad told him that it's not about getting knocked down, but about how quickly you get back up, and that seems to be the story of Joe.

Considering the background of Senator Biden's own personal life experience, the testament to his dedication to making a difference in this country in spite of his own personal tragedies, his ability to intelligently & passionately discuss the important issues of the day, his way of being able to connect with the everyday man or woman on the street & his obvious expert grasp of foreign & military affairs, it is hardly a surprise that Senator Obama would choose this man to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

I think Senator Obama's choice of Senator Biden for VP says as much about Obama as much as it does about Biden. It shows that judgment matters...even more than one's military service or lack thereof. If Senator Obama's decision to ask Senator Biden to join him on his campaign of change is any indication, I am even more convinced that Obama is the right person to lead us & that we, as a country, can do whatever we set our minds & hearts to do.

Yes We Can.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Minnesota Republican U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann:

[U.S. House Speaker Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she's just trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet -- we didn't need Nancy Pelosi to do that.

So, again, I ask, "What the Fudge????"

Saturday, August 2, 2008

(Some of) What I know to be true

Sometimes I wonder what--if anything--I've learned in my 45+ years on this planet, so below are a few things that have come to mind. They may sound trite & worn out, but I think at least some of them have withstood the test of time & remain as true as ever. They are listed in no particular order.

Disclaimer: Of course, as usual, this is simply my opinion based on my life thus far. My list may bear absolutely no resemblence to any real or potential list of your own making and you have every right to poke fun at, ridicule & question those things I have included; I just ask that, if you are so inclined, you remain civil & at least minimally-respectful in doing so. Remember, too, that simply because the source of the truth may not be of what you may consider the highest calibre, doesn't make it untrue or insubstantial. Sometimes you can find gold in the strangest places.

This is probably not a comprehensive list, and I will probably unintentionally leave out some very important lessons. Results may vary. The decision of the author of said list is final. Void where prohibited or taxed. No cash value.

No man is an island.

It takes a village.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

To thine own self be true.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!

...the hardest thing in this to live in it. Be brave. Live.

...whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

And last, but far, far from least:

For a long time is seemed to me that life was about to begin -- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.