Monthly Archives: October 2012

I voted for Jill Stein, fuck you very much.

Updated below

Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein delivers remarks during a press conference on July 11 in Washington, D.C.

AFP/Getty Images

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, photographed in Washington, D.C., in July

It wasn’t a difficult decision. It felt at least a bit liberating, in fact, to fill in with my black ballpoint pen the oval next to her name on my mail-in ballot, and putting my completed ballot in the U.S. Postal Service mailbox yesterday gave me the at-least-mild satisfaction of having an important task finished.

President Barack Obama is leading Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Mittens Romney by double digits in polling here in California. California and its 55 electoral votes, the nation’s biggest prize, are so not up for grabs that neither candidate is airing any TV commercials here. No mailers, either. Nothing that I have seen, in fact, except what’s on the Internet.

The New York Times’ prognosticator Nate Silver, as I type this sentence, puts Obama’s chances of re-election at just a little below 75 percent and Mittens’ chances of winning the White House at just a little above 25 percent.

Fact is, living in a solidly blue state under the undemocratic, winner-takes-all Electoral College system, my vote for president essentially doesn’t count. I could have voted for Mittens, for fuck’s sake, and the outcome in California wouldn’t have been altered one nano-iota. That Obama would win all of California’s 55 electoral votes on November 6, 2012, was a foregone conclusion long ago.

No, of course I don’t want Mormon multi-millionaire fascist Mittens to win, and of course I recognize that the winner of the election will be Obama or Mittens (and certainly not a third-party candidate), which is why this time around I gave Obama more than $100 in campaign contributions — much less than I gave him in 2008, but, according to an e-mail that the Obama campaign put out earlier this month, only about one in 75 Americans has given Obama one single penny, so hey, even the less than $200 that I’ve given him toward his re-election bid is pretty fucking good, comparatively.

But I almost didn’t vote for Obama in November 2008. When I went to my polling place on Election Day 2008, I had it down to Obama or to independent progressive candidate Ralph Nader, and even when I’d just received my ballot I still had to ponder which candidate to vote for, and at the last minute I went ahead and gave my vote to Mr. Hopey-Changey, knowing that he would carry California whether I voted for him or not, but hoping that he would at least try to deliver the change that he’d promised.

And yes, I also felt that I wanted to take the opportunity to vote for the first non-white president of the nation’s history. It gave me at least a little bit of an uplift to know that I was part of that historical event. (Of course, any Obama-related uplift was blunted by the blow of the passage of Proposition Hate here in California, which happened in large part thanks to the big money and the efforts of Mittens’ Mormon cult and Pretty Boy Paul Ryan’s Catholick church, which, much like the Taliban, seek to shove their theofascist, ignorant, hateful bullshit down the throats of all of us.)

Four years later, it is clear to me that Barack Obama had only said what he’d figured (correctly) would get him elected. Indeed, his take of the popular vote was bigger than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush ever got.

I could post a litany of reasons why, in good conscience, I could not cast my vote for Barack Obama again, but here are just three of them:

  • Obama for the most part just sat idly by while British Petroleum assured us that it had its crude-gushing underwater oil well perfectly well under control. Obama’s inaction was a clear signal to the planet-raping corporations: Do (or don’t do) whatever the fuck you want. The Democratic Party is addicted to your campaign contributions and therefore won’t lift a fucking finger to stop you from destroying the planet.
  • Obama had promised before his election that if the right to collectively bargain ever were under threat anywhere in the nation, he’d don a pair of comfortable walking shoes and join the fight himself. Yet when workers in Wisconsin fought for months and months for the survival of their right to collectively bargain, Obama showed his face in Wisconsin not one fucking time. Wisconsinites were on their own, with only very-last-minute support from the national Democratic Party, which was way too little way too late, and resultantly, Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survived the gubernatorial recall election against him in June.*
  • The Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning-for-fuck’s-sake Obama loves his civilian-killing drones, which, if you are awake, alert and oriented, you should find spine-chilling. A recent study of drone strikes by Stanford Law School and New York University’s School of Law found that “from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 to 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 to 881 were civilians, including 176 children.” Um, yeah, “they” don’t hate us for “our freedom.” And what’s to stop drones from being used against American civilians here at home at some point in the future?

Even without those three things, this one thing is more than enough reason not to vote for Punker in Chief Barack Obama again: Obama’s best opportunity to push through a progressive agenda was in 2009 and 2010, when his party controlled not only the White House but also the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Instead of even fucking trying to deliver upon his promises of hope and change for his base, however, Obama in 2009 and 2010 was too busy trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress whose only mission was to make sure that the nation’s first non-white president failed. (They even openly had stated that this was their mission from Day One.)

You don’t negotiate with terrorists. You crush them. Which is what Obama should have done.

Obama’s role model, he repeatedly essentially has told us, was Ronald Fucking Reagan, who, in my book, ranks with Richard M. Nixon and George W. Bush as the worst three presidents of my lifetime (I was born in 1968).

Obama’s “signature” “achievement,” the so-called “Obamacare,” contains little to nothing that the wealth-care industry didn’t rubber stamp, and even while proclaiming his support of same-sex marriage, Obama still maintains that each state nonetheless should be allowed to decide whether or not same-sex couples’ constitutional guarantee of equality should be honored or denied.

All of this, yet Barack Obama is on our side?

After the 2008 election, Obama and his surrogates called us progressives — the Democratic Party’s (disappearing?) base — “sanctimonious” members of the “professional left.”

I, for one, don’t forget such slights — I helped put you where you are, and then you turn and shit and piss all over me? Really? — and the Obama administration’s incredibly stupid practice of base-bashing is a large reason why I voted for Jill Stein.

Again, of course I hope that Mittens Romney doesn’t win, but if he does, you can’t blame me.

Blame Barack Obama, who promised hope and change but who has delivered only sweet-sounding rhetoric and even base-bashing, and who has presided over the nation as a Ronald-Reagan-loving Repugnican Lite.

And blame the Obamabots — the blind, mindless, amoral Democratic Party hacks — who to this day have refused to hold the center-right Barack Obama accountable for anyfuckingthing only because he wears the brand-name label of “Democrat,” and who continue to actually buy the Democratic Party’s pandering bullshit that the Democratic Party of today actually gives a flying fuck about us, against the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Update: I’d wanted to keep my bullet-pointed list of Obama’s fuck-ups to only three items, but Barack Obama has been such a fuck-up that I found it fairly impossible to list only three of his fuck-ups, so I ended up listing other fuck-ups of his elsewhere in my post, and I want to add a fourth bullet point, a point that I’m surprised that I forgot to include in my original post:

  • Early on, Obama appointed Wall Street weasels like Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers as his economic advisers, and in 2008, Obama took more money from Wall Street weasels than even John McCainosaurus did — which is probably why Obama rejected the advice of progressive economists, like the Nobel-Prize-winning Paul Krugman, who warned that Obama’s “stimulus” wasn’t nearly enough to restore the nation’s economy. All of this while Obama claims to care sooooo much about the working class and the middle class. Again: Whose side, exactly, is Barack “Talk One Way, Walk Another” Obama on?

*A judge in Wisconsin last month struck down Walker’s union-killing legislation, which was a victory for labor, but a victory that neither Obama nor the Democratic Party had a hand in. And the state is appealing the judge’s ruling, so the fight isn’t quite over quite yet.

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George McGovern’s death makes me yearn for real Democrats

George McGovern, War Critic Routed by Nixon in 1972

Getty Images

The death today of George McGovern, a progressive who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent President Richard M. Nixon in 1972 (and who is shown above right campaigning in 1972 with his first running mate, Thomas Eagleton), only reminds me, shortly before another presidential election, how far the Democratic Party has fallen.

It’s a perverse fact of politics that the possession of intelligence and compassion (concomitantly known as wisdom) often, if not usually, dooms an individual who is running for high public office.

I write that with the death of real Democrat George McGovern* in mind.

I was only four years old when in 1972 Democrat McGovern lost to incumbent Repugnican President Richard M. Nixon in a landslide. A landslide — and look how wonderful Nixon’s second term turned out to be: It was the Democratic Party’s operations that Nixon’s operatives were snooping into in June 1972 in the Watergate scandal, which ultimately led to Tricky Dick Nixon’s resignation in disgrace in 1974. (Nixon’s remains the only presidential resignation in U.S. history.)

The masses often get it wrong.

I don’t remember McGovern’s presidential campaign, of course. The first sitting president I remember seeing on television was Gerald Ford, who followed the disgraced-by-Watergate Nixon, and I seem to remember seeing a perpetually stumbling and falling Ford parodied by Chevy Chase on “Saturday Night Live” more than seeing the actual Ford himself on TV.

I remember seeing also Jimmy Carter on TV, and of course I remember Ronald Reagan and all of those who have followed him. But during Carter’s first and only term, I was an elementary school student who was interested in “Star Wars,” not in politics, and it wasn’t until Reagan’s eight-year reign during most of the 1980s that my political identity started to form.

My father always has been apolitical, not giving a rat’s ass about anything outside of his immediate personal universe, and my mother is one of those “swing voters” who seem to make their presidential picks based upon the logic of a Magic 8 Ball. (My parents reside in Arizona, where they belong, and I in California, where I belong.)

My point in bringing up my parents — which makes me feel like Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka when the topic of his parents is brought up — is to illustrate that neither of them even attempted to influence my own political views, with one of them being apolitical and the other being politically muddled at best, so the fact that I grew into a left-winger in the red state of Arizona, which is not conducive to the development of little “socialists,” suggests to me that a progressive political viewpoint is the natural path of human development, unless that path is obstructed (such as by committed right-wing parents who probably should be committed, a “Christo”fascist social environment, etc.) and the journeyer cannot overcome those obstructions, as I was able to do.

The first presidential race that I remember caring about was the 1984 race. I was in high school at the time, and I supported Democrat Walter Mondale over the re-election of Reagan, and I don’t know if I even could have articulated very well why I preferred Mondale over Reagan, since it certainly wasn’t my parents who influenced my preference for Mondale. If memory serves it was a visceral thing, my visceral, intuitive identification of Mondale as the truly wise (again, the compassionate and intelligent) candidate and Reagan as the poser, the phony.

Of course, in 1984 the very first presidential candidate whom I supported (not with money, because as a minor I didn’t have any [and are minors allowed to contributed to presidential campaigns anyway?], and not with my vote, because I wasn’t yet 18), very much like McGovern had done in 1972, lost to the Repugnican incumbent in a landslide.

Four years later, in 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, whom I supported and voted for as a college student (I remember having to sell my plasma as a starving college student, so I’m pretty certain that I wasn’t able to give Dukakis any money), performed barely better against George H. W. Bush than Mondale had performed against Reagan four years earlier.

Um, yeah, so I wasn’t off to a great start in life in my presidential picks, and for 12 long years as I was politically budding, I suffered through first Ronald Reagan and then George Bush I. (I never will forget graduating from college with a worthless degree but with plenty of student-loan debt during The First George Bush Recession of the late 1980s-early 1990s. These early socioeconomic experiences tend to color your political outlook for life, as the Great Depression very apparently colored my Scrooge-like maternal grandmother’s outlook for the rest of her life.)

Then in the 1990s came pseudo-Democrat Bill Clinton, who, although he benefitted from a rebounding economy (how much of the 1990s’ economic rebound was from his policies and how much of it was from the natural course of economic events I’m not certain), gave us such gems as NAFTA, welfare “reform” and DOMA — oh, yeah, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal, because having an intern blow you in the Oval Office never can blow up in your face.

So the first Democratic presidential candidate whom I supported — I rooted for and voted for Clinton in 1992 and in 1996 — and who actually won the presidential election was the so-called Democrat who destroyed the Democratic Party by dragging it so far to the right that the Democratic Party today looks like Repugnican Lite. Yay!

Bill Clinton benefitted from a three-way race in 1992, and won with a plurality, not a majority, of the popular vote, which today’s Democratic hacks forget or ignore. (Dems deny that third-party candidate Ross Perot, who garnered a-very-impressive-for-a-third-party-candidate 19 percent of the popular vote in 1992, harmed George H. W. Bush’s re-election bid, but it seems to me that the majority of Perot’s supporters were right of center and that most of them would have voted for Bush over Clinton. [If memory serves, my Magic-8-Ball-wielding mother voted for Perot, and my guess is that had Perot not been a choice, she would have voted for Bush or would not have voted at all.])

I get it that after a string of Democratic presidential defeats — George McGovern, Jimmy Carter (denied a second term), Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis — and after long time in the political wilderness during the Nixon/Ford, Reagan and Bush I years — the Democratic Party apparently wanted to pull away, far away, from the egghead image.

Democrat Adlai Stevenson, who lost to Repugnican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and again in 1956 yet sought (but did not get) the Democratic Party’s nomination yet again in 1960, seems to have been the eggheaded Democrats’ founding father, at least of our modern era, and indeed, Stevenson was the last presidential candidate from either of the two major parties who, despite having lost a presidential election, was nominated by his party to run in the very next presidential election. (These days, losing a presidential election very apparently means that you’ll never get another shot at your party’s presidential nomination again.)

The last Democratic egghead who lost — but who, surreally, actually won — a presidential election was, of course, Al Gore, who in 2000 won 48.4 percent of the popular vote to George W. Bush’s 47.9 percent, for a difference of more than 500,000 votes.** Only in the United States of America could the candidate who won fewer votes be made — crowned — president by the U.S. Supreme Court and his cronies (such as his brother, who was governor of the pivotal state that he “won,” and the chief elections official of that state who made damn sure that he “won” it), and this is yet another of those wonderful, deeply anti-democratic events during my lifetime that has shaped my current outlook.

So Al Gore’s win/loss in 2000 might have been the death knell for the eggheaded Democratic presidential candidate, but isn’t there some middle ground between a Bill Clinton and an Adlai Stevenson?

You might argue that President Barack Obama more or less fills that middle ground, since he’s known as both intelligent and non-nerdy (and, importantly, highly unlikely to be blown by an intern), but today we have Obama in a race for re-election that shouldn’t be nearly as close as it is, and probably wouldn’t be as close as it is had Obama spent his first two years in office actually delivering upon his ubiquitous 2008 promises of hope and change while both houses of Congress were controlled by his own party, a rare alignment of the stars that never should be squandered, and that even George W. Bush, dipshit that he is, did not squander. (Nor did Bush II, dipshit that he is, shit and piss all over his own fucking base, which seems to be the Obama administration’s and the Obamabots’ favorite fucking pastime.)

In Barack Obama, other than in empty rhetoric and false promises, we see precious little of the spirit of George McGovern that used to infuse the Democratic Party. In Obama we see instead the cynical, opportunistic, center-right spirit of Bill Clinton, an approach that the modern Democratic Party argues is the only approach that works, yet in actuality has no track record of effectiveness.

Again, in my book, Bill Clinton won in 1992 in no small part because of “spoiler” Ross Perot, and again, in 1992 Clinton garnered a plurality (43 percent of the popular vote), not a majority. (The only other president during my lifetime who garnered not even a full 44 percent of the popular vote was Richard Nixon in 1968, the year of my birth.)

Clinton again failed to get a full majority even in 1996 (he got 49 percent of the popular vote), and in his 1996 (and pre-Lewinsky) re-election bid he benefitted from having an incredibly wooden Repugnican opponent in Bob Dull — er, Dole — and he benefitted from a strong economy, which, again, I am not certain how much resulted from his economic policies and how much resulted from the natual ebb and flow of the nation’s economy.

Let’s reflect upon the fact that Barack Obama garnered 53 percent of the popular vote in 2008, which was better that Bill Clinton or George W. Bush ever did in the elections from 1992 through 2004. Obama’s 53 percent in 2008 bested Jimmy Carter’s and John F. Kennedy’s take of the popular vote, too.

How did Obama do it?

Again, he ran on a progressive (if too-vague) platform of hope and change. That was the bait.

Obviously, if Obama hadn’t perceived that that was what the majority of Americans wanted, that wouldn’t have been what he promised.

That progressivism is what the majority of Americans wanted, and that progressivism is what Obama Version 2008 promised (even if gauzily), even though his hacks (the Obamabots) love to engage in historical revision and deny that fact, but what Obama has delivered as president is just more Clintonesque, center-right, “bipartisan,” Repugnican-ass-licking bullshit, replete with Billary Clinton as his secretary of state and Bill Clinton as his current campaign surrogate.

So the news of George McGovern’s death early this morning at a hospice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at age 90 only underscores for me, with another presidential election only a little more than two weeks away, the fact that the Democratic Party of today is only a shadow of what it used to be.

I lament that the only presidents named George whom I got during my lifetime are surnamed Bush, and I have to wonder how George McGovern felt about the likes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who turned the Democratic Party into the center-right, corporate-ass-licking, lesser-of-two-evils monstrosity of a fundraising machine that it is today.

And I can’t see how I can honor the memory of George McGovern by blackening the oval next to the name of Barack Obama on the mail-in ballot that sits just yards from me right now as I type this sentence, yet unmarked.

*Wikipedia’s entry on George McGovern reports, in part:

George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922-October 21, 2012) was a historian, author and U.S. representative, U.S. senator and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.

McGovern grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota…. [After he fought in World War II] he gained degrees from Dakota Wesleyan University and Northwestern University, culminating in a Ph.D., and was a history professor. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956 and re-elected in 1958. After a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 1960, he was elected there in 1962.

As a senator, McGovern was an exemplar of modern American liberalism. He became most known for his outspoken opposition to the growing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He staged a brief nomination run in the 1968 presidential election as a stand-in for the assassinated Robert F. Kennedy.

The subsequent McGovern-Fraser Commission fundamentally altered the Democratic presidential nominating process, by greatly increasing the number of caucuses and primaries and reducing the influence of party insiders.

The McGovern-Hatfield Amendment sought to end the Vietnam War by legislative means but was defeated in 1970 and 1971.

McGovern’s long-shot, grassroots-based 1972 presidential campaign found triumph in gaining the Democratic nomination but left the party badly split ideologically, and the failed vice-presidential pick of Thomas Eagleton undermined McGovern’s credibility. In the general election McGovern lost to incumbent Richard Nixon in one of the biggest landslides in American history. Re-elected senator in 1968 and 1974, McGovern was defeated in a bid for a fourth term in 1980.

Throughout his career, McGovern was involved in issues related to agriculture, food, nutrition, and hunger….

Wikipedia also notes that anyone running against the incumbent Nixon would have had an uphill battle anyway, but after high-profile Democrats such as Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey and other Democrats declined to be McGovern’s running mate, McGovern picked U.S. Sen. Thomas Eagleton, whom McGovern later replaced with Kennedy clan in-law Sargent Shriver after Eagleton’s history of treatment for mental illness came to light, casting doubt on his fitness to handle the presidency if it came to that, and raising doubts about McGovern’s judgment.

Wikipedia notes that Team McGovern didn’t vet Eagleton thoroughly and that Eagleton and his wife intentionally kept Eagleton’s hospitalizations for mental illness from McGovern. Bloomberg notes that less than a week after McGovern had proclaimed that he supported Eagleton “1,000 percent,” he replaced Eagleton with Shriver.

Bloomberg notes that McGovern later wrote in his autobiography, “I did what I had to, but the Eagleton matter ended whatever chance there was to defeat Richard Nixon in 1972. In the minds of many Americans the Eagleton episode convicted me of incompetence, vacillation, dishonesty and cold calculation, all at the same time.”

Bloomberg notes that “The Eagleton misstep ushered in today’s rigorous vetting of potential vice presidential candidates,” which doesn’t really explain what happened with Dan Quayle or Sarah Palin, but whatever…

**You might argue that the last Democratic egghead who ran for president actually was John Kerry in 2004, and while he does hail from Massachusetts, a la egghead Michael Dukakis (indeed, Kerry was Dukakis’ lieutenant governor), Vietnam vet Kerry ran such a war-hero campaign (the “swiftboaters'” defamation of him notwithstanding) that, in my estimation, anyway, he fairly escaped being branded as an egghead.

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Mittens’ binders full o’ women, Barack’s back, and other thoughts

Updated below

Damn is the Internet fast.

Mittens Romney claimed during tonight’s presidential debate that when he became governor of Massachusetts, he was dismayed by the fact that the applicants for his cabinet positions were overwhelmingly (or entirely) male. So, he said, he had his staffers compile for him “binders full of women” candidates so that he could put some women on his cabinet.

“Binders full of women” struck me as an awful — some might say “inelegant” — way to put it, and I wasn’t alone. Already “binders full of women” has gone viral:

Romney

Romney

Romney

Romney

More here and a lot more here.

It’s funny how someone inadvertently can reveal his or her true feelings about a group of people, isn’t it? I have a co-worker whose word choice routinely (very apparently unwittingly) reveals her homophobia/heterosexism, and here is Mittens claiming to wuv women yet talking about them as though they were objects to be stored in binders.

Condescension and objectification — that’s the way to win the women’s vote, Mittens!

Speaking of women, this is probably the only news that my favorite presidential candidate, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, is going to make: That she and her running mate were arrested for disorderly conduct while trying to enter the presidential debate hall in New York today.

I love the Green Party and we’re long overdue for a woman in the Oval Office, but um

Here is a photo of Stein and her running mate right before their arrest:

IMG_1194

LongIslandReport.org photo

Don’t get me wrong — I disagree with the partisan duopoly that we have in the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party, and it long has rankled me that third parties are shut out of the presidential debates, preserving the partisan duopoly, but I don’t see that this tactic of the sit-down from the 1960s works.

I mean, in politics image is everything, and looking like you are members of the Occupy movement — and I support the Occupy movement (I’ve given money to my local Occupy movement, in fact) — may not be the best image to project.

Just sayin’.

I’m not saying that Stein did something wrong, that she doesn’t have a point, that she isn’t the victim of injustice.

I’m saying that it (apparently orchestrating your own arrest for disorderly conduct) probably isn’t the best way to project power. I’m saying that it looks a bit lame and weak, and that not many people want to be part of a group that is perceived to be lame and weak, and so that therefore, it probably can’t be a great recruitment tool.

I had hoped that the Green Party would really take off after 2000, but it has only languished. I suspect that the best way to change the Democratic Party — to make it actually progressive and to make it actually for the people (and no, corporations are not people) — is to infiltrate it, much like the “tea party” fascists infiltrated the Repugnican Party, which I now routinely call the Repugnican Tea Party, since the “tea party” Nazis were so successful in infiltrating the party.

It just seems easier to re-form (not “reform” but re-form) an existing party that has gone astray than to try to to make it on your own as a third party…

Not to let Barack Obama off of the hook.

His campaign included this image in another of its endless fundraising e-mails that it sent tonight, just after the debate:

Got his back

You’re supposed to click on the image in the e-mail, which then oh-so-helpfully diverts you to a user-friendly fundraising web page.

The e-mail, titled “Get Barack’s back,” reminds me of an editorial cartoon that I saw recently in which a man reading a newspaper remarks to his wife of Obama, “I thought he was supposed to have my back!”

My sentiments exactly. This Cult of Obama thing, in which it’s our “duty” to “have Obama’s back” — it’s a real reversal of the idea of the public servant, isn’t it?

Seriously, though, is it, “Ask not what we can do for our country, but ask what we can do for Barack Obama”?

It’s a turn-off for this left-winger.

And truly, I wouldn’t be so put off by the command to “Get Barack’s back” if for these past three-plus years, after I gave him hundreds of dollars and my vote for his 2008 campaign, I felt much more strongly that he had mine.

Update: Some more women-in-binders-themed images from the Tumblr site titled “Binders Full of Women”:

“One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne. In the Land of Romney where the shadows lie he can lie.”

Overly Attached Girlfriend on Binders

This one, from elsewhere, though, is probably the funniest one that I’ve seen thus far:

And the Internet is abuzz with the report that Mittens lied even about his binders-full-o’-women story. (I had doubts about his story, which is why, when I wrote about his claim, I called it a claim. [Seriously, though, the man lies so fucking much that if he told me the sky were blue, I’d check it out.]) 

The report is that a women’s advocacy group had started to create the binders containing profiles of female candidates for high-ranking Massachussetts state government posts before it was even known whether Mittens or the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would win the election, and that Team Mittens was simply given the binders after Mittens won — making Mittens’ claim that he had his staff seek out the binders full o’ women at his direction (because the wuvs the womens so much) yet another fucking Mittens LIE.

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Obama wins Round Two (but the media will call it a draw)

U.S. President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Romney debate during the second U.S. presidential debate in Hempstead

Republican presidential nominee Romney and U.S. President Obama speak directly to each other during the second U.S. presidential campaign debate in Hempstead

US President Obama speaks next to Republican presidential candidate Romney during second US presidential campaign debate in Hempstead

U.S. President Obama answers a questiion as Republican presidential nominee Romney listens during the second U.S. presidential campaign debate in Hempstead

Republican presidential nominee Romney and U.S. President Obama shake hands at the conclusion of the second U.S. presidential debate in Hempstead

Reuters photos

The up-close-and-personal town-hall format of tonight’s presidential debate, and the criticism that President Barack Obama received for not having called out Mittens Romney on his string of blatant lies during the first 2012 presidential debate, resulted in a fiercer second debate performance by Obama tonight. And moderator Candy Crowley proved herself to be no Jim Lehrer, also to Mittens’ disadvantage.

That’s just anticipatory, my prediction* for tonight’s second presidential debate, which, as I post this, begins in less than a half-hour. (I am watching the debate live online and of course will write about it here, in this same post, later tonight.)

What I’m really looking for in tonight’s debate is to see if Mittens Romney repeats Pretty Boy Paul Ryan’s execrable attempt during last week’s vice presidential debate to make a mountain of political hay over the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11.

At the time of Mittens’ initial politicizing of the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in the American consulate in Libya, I saw an editorial cartoon depicting Mittens slapping his presidential bumper sticker on Stevens’ headstone. It was quite apropros.

I can’t find that ’toon now, but while searching for it I did find a couple of others:

Romney Political Posturing

 Libya Tragedy

Beyond the shamelessness of using the attack on the American consulate in Libya for political gain, it’s a fucking laugh that it is the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who are going to keep us safe.

Four Americans died in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, but more than four fucking thousand Americans** died preventable deaths during the watch of the unelected “President” George W. Bush on September 11, 2001, and in late August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states.

There had been plenty of warning that both Osama bin Laden and Hurricane Katrina would strike the U.S., but the Vacationer in Chief George W. Bush couldn’t be bothered to do anything about either threat.

Whether or not the attack on the American consulate in Libya could have been prevented or not — it seems to me that it’s quite difficult to keep an American consulate in any Middle Eastern nation safe — the way to respond to such an incident is first to examine what went wrong and then to do things differently.

Putting another right-wing, swaggering, plutocratic chickenhawk in the White House is not doing things differently, and under a President Mittens, I believe, we’d see a lot more American deaths than we have under President Barack Obama.

We’ve seen already how well Mittens is received on the world stage — a Mittens presidency would be reminiscent of that of George W. Bush. Making the world hate us makes us less safe, not safer, and Repugnican presidents have a way of making the world hate us.

For all of Obama’s shortcomings, we (those of us who inhabit the reality-based world, that is) can’t say that he hasn’t kept the nation safe. Yet that is what I expect Mittens insanely to do tonight.

Update:

I found that cartoon:

Bill Schorr - Cagle Cartoons - Romney Libya Comments - English - Mitt Romney,Libya,Chris Stevens,politics,

Update: Fifteen minutes in, I’d say it’s a draw-leaning-toward-Obama. Mittens makes pledges, such as regarding job creation, but surreally, he offers no specifics. His first prickish attempt to steamroll moderator Candy Crowley of CNN failed.

Update: Obama, apparently having learned from Round One, freely states that Mittens isn’t telling the truth, and we’re seeing a fairly feisty Obama tonight.

This debate on oil, coal and alternative energy production is way too reminiscent of the 2008 debates. The wingnutty mantra of “Drill, baby, drill!” hasn’t changed. Indicative, I believe, of how the right wing does its damnedest to prevent progress.

Update: I don’t for a nanosecond believe Mittens’ claim that he won’t give the rich and super-rich tax breaks and that he wuvs the middle class (um, aren’t we the 47 percent he was disowning just back in May?). I believe that his plan is to give them tax breaks right away, and his “five-point plan” sounds like Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan…

I believe Obama’s assertion that Mittens’ plan is to give the plutocrats their tax cuts and spend even more on the military-corporate complex, bloating the federal budget deficit even further — just like George W. Bush did.

Update: Mittens’ attempts to run over Candy Crowley aren’t going nearly as well for him as they did during the first debate, and I think that Mittens’ aggressive, steamrolling behavior is indicative of his character.

On the topic of women’s issues (specifically, women in the workforce), Mittens claims that as governor of Massachusetts he essentially engaged in affirmative action where women are concerned. Um, aren’t the wingnuts against that?

Meh. I look at the patriarchal Mormon cult that Mittens supports and women’s status within the Mormon cult that Mittens supports. That fact, I believe, is a much better barometer of the truth than are Mittens’ words in his post-Etch-A-Sketch-shaking phase.

Update: A great question from an audience member (who said that she is “undecided” but seems to lean toward Obama) for Mittens was how he is different from George W. Bush (a.k.a. He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned). Mittens first lied that he “appreciate[d]” the question that mentioned He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned and then blathered about how he wants to focus on small businesses, whereas the Bush regime focused on Big Business, and how he wants to focus on jobs.

Obama retorted, correctly, that just as Gee Dubya did, Mittens would only give tax breaks to the rich and otherwise support the plutocrats.

Update: Mittens brought up Ronald Reagan, which I guess was meant to neutralize the mention of George W. Bush.

It strikes me that this presidential election isn’t entirely unlike the 2000 election: We are to believe that vulture capitalist multi-millionaire Mittens Romney, whose religion is all about elevating the right-wing, “Christian” white man over the rest of us, is a “compassionate conservative,” which is what George W. Bush claimed he is, and we know how well George W. Bush worked out.

It’s interesting when liars like Mittens actually promise to govern progressively. They’re lying through their fangs, of course, but the fact that they are lying that they will be progressive is proof that progressivism is superior to what the wingnuts actually stand for.

Update: Mittens just used the term “illegals” in the discussion of immigration. Wow. I wonder if they’ll be talking about that tomorrow. “Illegals” is a charged word that reveals, I believe, how Mittens regards those who are in the nation without documentation.

Update: The attack in Benghazi finally came up. Mittens claimed that Obama didn’t take the situation seriously enough, which is interesting, given that when George W. Bush received the August 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” Bush was on vacation in Crawford, Texas, and on August 29, 2005, the day that Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, George W. Bush was celebrating John McCain’s birthday in Arizona.

It’s sickening that the Benghazi incident is being used by Team Mittens as a political football, and it’s sickening that the back-and-forth on the Benghazi incident is the only topic thus far that has caused the studio-audience members (in violation of the rules…) to applaud first for Obama and then for Mittens.

Update: Mittens has used the topic of gun violence to try to bring up another anti-Obama pseudo-scandal, “Fast and Furious.” I get it that it’s his role to tarnish Obama, but — Oh, cool: Moderator Candy Crowley has redirected Mittens back on topic. Clearly, Mittens was too comfortable with the Jim Lehrer treatment.

As I was saying, I get it that Mittens wants to tarnish Obama, but I don’t think that the anti-Obama pseudo-scandals from which the members of the right-wing blogosphere get their rocks off are going to appeal to a general audience.

Update: So according to Mittens, China is our big economic enemy, and we must stop sending our jobs overseas. Nevermind that Mittens made his millions via corporations whose profits skyrocketed through cheap labor overseas. Wow.

Again, Mittens is lying that he’d stop the flow of jobs overseas, but in his lie, he admits that sending jobs overseas (which he actually supports) is the wrong thing to do.

Update: It’s winding down. Mittens says that the biggest misperception of him is that he doesn’t care about “100 percent of the people.” Well, um, he was video-recorded in May saying that he has written off 47 percent of us.

He has used the phrase “100 percent” at least three times now, which underscores what a gaffe his “47 percent” remark was. (A “gaffe” as in he wouldn’t have said it had he known he was being video-recorded, not a “gaffe” as in that he “misspoke” or put it “inelegantly.” He knew exactly what he was saying and he meant exactly what he was saying.)

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!: Obama saved the best for last, reminding us, finally, of Mittens “47 percent” remark.

Obama got the last word in the debate, and my impression now, now that the debate is over, is pretty much what it was early in the debate: That Obama won the debate, but that he didn’t deliver a knock-out punch.

I expect the corporately owned and controlled mass media to call the debate a draw.

Whatever, but if Obama continues his trajectory, he will deliver the knock-out blow next week.

Obama is a smoother debater than is Mittens. Obama can deliver a blow smoothly and without apparent arrogance, whereas Mittens practically salivates all over himself when, in his mind, he has delivered a body blow, such as his bullshit on Benghazi and his bullshit on “Fast and Furious.”

If you take all of Mittens’ “blows” tonight combined, they don’t add up to that one “47 percent” remark of his that he made, as, Obama put it tonight, “behind closed doors” not even a full six months ago, and while the incident in Benghazi and “Fast and Furious” haven’t touched you or me personally, being categorized as half of the American people whom Mittens Romney doesn’t give a shit about: That is personal. That does affect us.

And that is the central (albeit secretly video-recorded) campaign promise that Mittens Romney, as president, would fulfill: That he would ignore at least 47 percent of the nation.

*My initial title of this post was “Obama wins!” Then I changed it to “Obama wins Round Two!” and then I changed it to its current title, once it seemed clear to me that Obama won but probably wouldn’t get credit for having won.

**Per Wikipedia, 2,977 were killed by the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001, and more than 1,830 were killed by Hurricane Katrina.

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‘Mean’ Uncle Joe beats the Boy Scout at the starting line

U.S. Vice President Biden listens as Republican vice-presidential nominee Ryan speaks during the U.S. vice presidential debate in Danville

Reuters photo

Vice President Joe Biden smiles dismissively at a boyishly overeager liar Paul Ryan during tonight’s vice presidential debate, which was easy to call for Biden not even a full 15 minutes in.

It’s not even a full 15 minutes into the vice presidential debate as I type this sentence, but already Paul Ryan is coming off as a juvenile. It’s that boyish, whiny voice and those boyish expressions — Ryan comes off as a fucking Boy Scout – which might work for him in our youth-worshipping nation if the topic weren’t as serious and mature as foreign policy.

Joe Biden, coming off as experienced and smiling dismissively as Ryan lies, is kicking Ryan’s ass, and there probably is nothing else that I’ll need to write.

Ryan needed to show that we could trust him as president of the United States if it came to him becoming the president of the United States.

Not even a full 2o minutes now into the debate, Ryan has failed to do that.

I do find it interesting how the female moderator, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, is doing a much better job than PBS’s Jim Lehrer did.

Is she just more assertive than Lehrer? Or are Ryan and Biden unwilling to steamroll over a female moderator? Or is it some combo of the two?

At any rate, she’s doing what she should be doing, which is not letting Paul Ryan get off the hook with his bullshit the way that Lehrer allowed Mittens Romney to do when he debated President Barack Obama last week.

Update: As I type this sentence, Joe Biden is addressing a final topic, that of abortion. Wow. Biden — whose response is that he accepts his Catholic church’s pro-life doctrine but could never himself “impose” that view on a woman, who has the right to make decisions regarding her own body — blew Ryan (whose stated stance is that abortion should be allowed only in the cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger because of the pregnancy) out of the water, and there goes the women’s vote that dumbass pundits claimed was swaying toward the Mittens/Pretty Boy ticket.

Update: The debate is over. Kudos to Martha Raddatz for a job well done, and I have to wonder if the topic of women’s rights would have come up at all had a male moderated.

Joe Biden probably didn’t have to be quite as aggressive as he was, but if aggression was such a fucking bonus for Mittens Romney, then why would it be such a liability for Joe Biden?

Is it that right-wingers are allowed to be aggressive, but left-wingers aren’t allowed to be? That there is a double fucking standard there? (A: Yes, there is.)

Finally, again, Paul Ryan just isn’t presidential. Not with that whiny, adolescent voice, his fakey-fake, wide-eyed expressions, his over-practiced, memorized (and thus insincere-sounding) rhetoric, and really, I see twentysomethings walking around with that duck’s-ass hairdo that the fortysomething Paul Ryan wears. (No offense, twentysomethings, but I don’t want you sitting in the Oval Office, not even the most precocious among you. There is so much to be said for life experience, especially in the so-called leader of the so-called free world…)

Call me shallow, but it seems to me that, for better or for worse, it is these impressions — certainly not tedious policy details — that sway the American voters, and thus it seems to me that Joe Biden accomplished his mission of halting Team Mittens’ post-first-presidential-debate momentum.

P.S. Here is the Reuters photo that already has become iconic of the 2012 vice presidential debate:

U.S. Vice President Biden makes a point in front of Republican vice presidential nominee Ryan and moderator Raddatz during the vice presidential debate in Danville

Reuters photo

Again, I expect to hear all day tomorrow how “mean” Old Uncle Joe was to poor widdle Paulie Ryan, even though Mittens Romney’s flat-out prickish debate behavior was called a strength. And this from the corporately owned and controlled mass media that supposedly have a left-wing bias.

Let me be clear, though: Joe Biden won the debate not because he can talk over people, but because he demonstrated that he is fit to assume the presidency if it came to that, and he demonstrated — with plenty of help from Paul Ryan — that the himbo/he-Palin Paul Ryan is not.

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Mittens’ Etch A Sketch is at full tilt

Etch A Sketch art

Unfortunately, in the United States of Amnesia, you pretty much can “shake it up and … start all over again”* — and to a stunning degree, get away with it.

I watched last night’s presidential debate online as it unfolded live.

While everyone is declaring Mittens Romney the “winner,” I don’t see it.

It’s obvious that the multi-millionaire Mormon Mittens has shifted his message abruptly to the center in order to appeal to the so-called “swing voters” (a.k.a. “undecideds,” “independents,” etc.). It wasn’t nearly long ago enough (it was in May) that Mittens told his fat-cat donors that 47 percent of us Americans can go fuck ourselves that we now can believe Mittens’ claim of last night that he just wuvs every last one of us.

I believe the Mittens of May, not the Mittens of October.

Only when we reduce the presidential debates to pure theater, in which truthfulness doesn’t matter (theater is, after all, fiction), only when we view the presidential debates as entertainment, like a wrestling event, can we say that Mittens “won” last night’s debate.

Mittens lied every time his lips moved — contrary to his claims, a Mittens presidency would look like much the illegitimate George W. Bush presidency did, but we wouldn’t even have Big Bird — but hey, Mittens steamrolled all over senior-citizen moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS (whom Mittens badly wants to fire)! What a bad-ass alpha male Mittens is!

Frighteningly, it apparently is the “swing voters” who (at least largely) decide presidential elections these days, and if you are one of them, you just now are paying attention to the presidential race and you have no idea that just the day before yesterday, Mittens was singing a hard-right tune. If you just first tuned in last night and you believe everything that you are told, indeed, Mittens, from his debate performance — and, like it is with theater, it was a performance — might not strike you as that bad a guy.

Luckily, we need look only to the presidential debates of 2004 — in which John Kerry clearly cleaned dipshit George W. Bush’s clock, yet Bush “won” “re”-election nonetheless — to remind ourselves that a real (in Bush’s case) or imagined (in Barack Obama’s case) poor performance in the presidential debates certainly doesn’t spell certain doom for an incumbent president’s election (real or imagined) to a second term.

I expect Mittens to gain a percent or two in the nationwide polls over the next week, but I don’t expect that boost to last, and I still expect Barack Obama to win re-election. I expect that Obama will have learned from the chatter after his first debate with Mittens and will adjust his game accordingly.

The question remains, however, as to how easily the New and Improved! Mittens can dupe the “swing voters” who just now are paying attention.

*The infamous Etch A Sketch quote, recall, was that of (former?) senior Mittens campaign operative Eric Fehrnstrom, who in March told CNN, “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

When you shake up an actual Etch A Sketch, everything disappears without a trace. Real life, however, isn’t that neat and tidy, yet Team Mittens apparently is going forward with the Etch-A-Sketch plan nonetheless. Indeed, according to the Mittens playbook, we’re even to just erase already the infamous “47 percent” remark that Mittens uttered just back in May.

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Desperate wingnuts dust off Obama video to engage in race baiting

It’s always entertaining when the Repugnican Tea Party traitors — whose all-white-or-almost-all-white gatherings, including, of course, the Repugnican Tea Party National Conventions, resemble KKK rallies — accuse blacks of being racist.

In apparent response to Mittens Romney’s hidden-camera remark in May that he has written off 47 percent of Americans, the wingnuts have dragged out a 2007 video that “proves” that President Barack Obama is “racist.”

But there is no fucking comparison between the two videos.

Where to begin?

Then-U.S. Sen. Obama knew that he was being video-recorded in June 2007. Mittens had no fucking idea that he was being video-recorded just a few months ago. So this wasn’t Obama speaking to a cabal of his supporters in, to his knowledge, secret. That was the case, however, with Mittens. Context is everyfuckingthing.

Also, Mittens’ statements in May are a lot more recent, of course, and thus a lot more pertinent to the presidential campaign of today.

And really, we’re dredging up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright again?

Really?

This is all that the wingnuts have? A repeat of their pathetic 2008 presidential campaign? Then they’ve lost already. (Well, they have lost already, but just sayin’…)

I agree with most of what I’ve read about what the Rev. Jeremiah Wright reportedly has said publicly — most of his “controversial” statements strike me as “no-fucking-duh!” statements — and, far from having a problem with Wright, I have lambasted Obama for having thrown Wright under the bus, for having distanced himself from Wright because of the white supremacists and their anti-black race-baiting.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, to the white supremacists who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party, represents the bogeyman that is the Angry! Black! Man!, you see, and the KKK’ers gather ’round enthusiastically to lynch (politically speaking [these days]) this bogeyman.

It’s difficult to label Barack Obama an Angry! Black! Man!, since the cool, calm and collected Obama either just never has been an Angry! Black! Man! or has been very, very disciplined throughout his public/political career to keep any inner Angry! Black! Man! tightly under wraps, apparently having considered it politically fatal to do otherwise.

I mean, fuck — there is a reason that Barack Obama and neither Jesse Jackson nor Al Sharpton became president, isn’t there?

You’re not allowed to be angry in the deeply dysfunctional United States of America, no matter how deeply you have been wronged. Anger is a normal human reaction to significant to severe injustice, but in the U.S., especially among the wingnuts, displaying anger is considered akin to being mentally ill, or at least emotionally unstable, especially if the angry person is a member of an historically oppressed minority group. (Right-wing white men get away with displaying anger a lot more than do the rest of us, don’t they?)

I’d love to watch Barack Obama just fucking go off in public just once, but we very most likely will never see that.

The white-supremacist wingnuts’ game, though, is pretty fucking transparent: Since Obama doesn’t play the role of the Angry! Black! Man!, let’s try to make him “guilty” by association! That Rev. Jeremiah Wright is an Angry! Black! Man! — and Obama once sang his praises! Therefore, Obama is a closet Angry! Black! Man!

Also, Obama pointed out — correctly — in the “damning” 2007 video that the wingnuts have dredged up as some sort of proof of something, that the victims of Hurricane Katrina have been neglected, before and after the hurricane hit Lousiana in August 2005, primarily because most of Katrina’s victims are/were black.

Um, that’s just a fucking fact. The fact is that the victims of Hurricane Katrina were considered expendable. The vast majority of Katrina’s victims were poor black people, not even poor white people. (Was even one rich white person killed by Katrina? I doubt it. Hundreds of poor black people, however, were.)

To point out these fucking facts does not make Obama or any other black person “racist.”

It’s incredibly shameful that Katrina’s victims overwhelmingly have been black Americans (I write “have been” because the suffering hasn’t ended), but that’s a national stain that the nation needs to fucking deal with, not try to keep covered under the red-white-and-blue carpet.

This ugly stain under the carpet is the problem, not the person who simply points out its continued existence when the rest of us would rather just ignore it and act as though if we just don’t talk about it, it doesn’t fucking exist and we therefore are guilt-free.

But in the sick and twisted, evil “logic” of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (and other assorted white-supremacist wingnuts) among us, it is “racist” for a member of an historically oppressed race to even talk about unpleasant history.

This is their “argument” in their latest desperate attack upon Barack Obama, a race-baiting attack employing the bogeyman of the Angry! Black! Man! that only demonstrates their racism, not Barack Obama’s or anyone else’s.

I haven’t planned to vote again for Barack Obama, given how much he has caved in to the traitors on the right and has not enacted the progressive agenda that he at least implicitly promised us on the left that he would, but I can tell you this: A sustained, race-based and racist/white-supremacist attack on Obama by the right-wing traitors from now until Election Day probably would be more than enough to induce me to give him my vote again.

You lost the Civil War, you treasonous bitches.

You don’t want a rematch.

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