Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Margaret and Helen: My Newest, Bestest, Favoritest Blog!

Read it. NOW.

The New GOP (or, Distillate of Retard)

As the powers driving the Republican party work feverishly to alienate any remaining intellectuals in their movement, they give us a glimpse of its future makeup:

Honestly: are there really that many bigoted ass-hats left in the US, or is the RNC trucking these people from site to site to make it look like they still have some support?

A Belated Happy Blogoversary

To Digital Cuttlefish, poet laureate of the science blogosphere. Check his site out: it's worth reading.

This Actually Made Me Cry

Video of an Obama campaign voluteer who lived throu the depression and recalls FDR.

It's really, finally going to be over? Dare we hope?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Llosa on the Conservative Revolt Against the GOP

Alvaro Vargas Llosa has written a brilliant summation over at The New Republic on the growing chasm between the old intellectual right and the Neo-con Religious Right alliance which currently controls the GOP. He runs through the laundry list of right-wing minds who have come out recently against McCain-Palin and the direction the GOP is heading, and the GOP faithful's reaction to these supposed betrayals. He explains the rift as a result of the deviation of the GOP from the principals of intellectual conservatism, and describes thusly:
This deviation expresses itself in different ways. First, in the confusion between Jeffersonian populism -- a salutary mistrust of economic power allied to political power--and class-based populism, which is what Republican leaders promote when they scorn America's coastal and big-city culture. Second, in the contradiction between a low-tax, low-spend policy and an interventionist foreign policy that, by definition, is costly--as every empire in the history of mankind eventually and painfully found out. Last, in modern-day Puritanism, which started, perhaps understandably, as a reaction against the cultural excesses of the 1960s but ended up turning into what H.L. Mencken described decades earlier as "grounded upon the inferior man's hatred of the man who is having a better time."
These fundamental deviations from conservatism crystallized in the Bush administration. The result was the biggest growth in government since the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, a loss of international prestige and, in purely political terms, the alienation of millions of people who could have been attracted to the Republican Party had its libertarian roots been preserved in dealing with social issues.

Hear, hear. And the Palin pick was the clearest illustration the Party could have given of the anti-intellectualism which has become so pervasive among the religious right and movement conservatives.

Read the whole article. Good stuff.

Monday, October 13, 2008

McCain's New Tax Plan: Sheer Brilliance

From Politico:
As part of a plan to reinvigorate his flagging campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is considering additional economic measures aimed directly at the middle class that are likely to be rolled out this week, campaign officials said.

Among the measures being considered are tax cuts – perhaps temporary – for capital gains and dividends, the officials said.

Pardon me while I spin around in my chair and go "Wheeeeee!!!!!!!"

Let's see: I'll save money on all those capital gains and dividends I'm earning right now...

HT: Obsidian Wings.

Friday, October 10, 2008

McCain/Palin Rally in Waukesha

McCain Palin held a unbridled orgy campaign rally in Waukesha, WI yesterday (I was wondering why those black clouds suddenly rolled in from the southeast and blotted out the sun). We 'Sconnies had our own, local look at the insanity that the GOP crowd has become.

The candidates whipped the drooling masses into a frenzy warmed the crowd up with charges of demon-worship and witchcraft harangues against the moldy old Ayers issue and some blather about ACORN, then proceeded to "take questions from the angry mob audience". That didn't quite work out. The crowd was not so much interested in asking questions as they were in giving advice and making demands. They want McCain/Palin to hit Obama harder with negative ads and attacks.

My first thought was "Harder? These people seem to be completely out of touch with what's been going on for the last month. What's harder than going 100% negative? What's harder than accusing him of being a terrorist and a traitor, and giving your followers your tacit approval when they scream out things like 'Kill Him!' during rallies?"

The only way he could get nastier with Obama would be to start taking these accusations up in his media interviews and the last debate. And I'm sure Obama would like nothing more than for McCain to do that. It would be the last nail in the coffin of the GOP campaign.

John McCain cannot win a war of guilt-by-association in any arena where people who read the newspaper and know anything about his history are to be found. He brings up Bill Ayers, an old, irrelevant, forgotten and failed 60's revolutionary who Obama only knows in passing, and Obama comes back with Charles Keating, who McCain actively abetted in the former's attempts to subvert thrift regulation. McCain brings up Jeremiah Wright, Obama counters with John Hagee. McCain brings up ACORN, and Obama can again counter with the Keating Five.

I'm not particularly surprised that people who would attend a McCain/Palin rally would think that this strategy would work. Between the media isolationism the right has been indulging in in the last 2 decades, and their more recent war on intellectualism, the GOP has been working very hard to produce an electoral base of mindless robots. They got what they wished for, bless their little hearts. And I do mean little.

Taking this tack would be suicide for McCain. And while McCain has had a notable talent for blunders recently, I don't think even he is clueless enough to commit this one. But he could yet prove me wrong.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oh: That's How McCain/Palin Will Fix the Financial System

From the Washington Post, a report on a McCain/Palin rally yesterday. The following opening prayer was used:
Even the opening prayer was politically charged. "O God, we are in a battle that is raging for the soul of this nation," the preacher said. "You, O God, have raised up Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin for such a time as this." The preacher went on: "Help them, O God, to strengthen our economy, to keep our taxes and spending low . . . and grant them the privilege of being elected the next president and vice president."

Well, at least he's announced his fiscal policy. "If I'm elected, everybody pray".

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sarah Palin on Ayers and the Economy

From Faux News, Palin was asked by her travelling press corps about whether she'd keep beating the oh-so-dead Ayers horse for the next month in the face of the prominence of economic issues:

“Americans are caring about the problems in the economy of course And wanting to know what those long term solutions are that our ticket can provide and what the other ticket is proposing so when you talk though about what it is that we are proposing and what it is that Barack Obama is proposing again it is relevant to connect that association that he has with Ayers–not so much he as a person Ayers, but the whole situation and the truthfulness and the judgment there that you must question if again he’s not being forthright in all of his answers as to how did you know him, when did you know him, why would you continue to be associated with him?” Palin asked, “It makes you wonder about the forthrightedness, the truthfulness of the plans that he is telling America in regards to the economic recovery because that is first and foremost on Americans’ minds.”

I'm sorry, Ms Fey, but not even you can top that.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sarah Palin Debate Flowchart

Palin Manages not to be Awful

She gave no solid answers, clung to her predetermined talking points, and generally chirped manically at the camera for an hour and a half. She never did an actual rhetorical face-plant, but she clearly didn't have a clue as to what she was talking about.

McCain doesn't have a chance.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Latest Daily Read: Eunomia

Gotta Hand it to David Larison at The American Conservative. There are precious few conservative bloggers who hold to the tradition of considered, reasoned discourse. He's worth a regular stop.

Update: Oops: Larison, not Larson.


The Very Best of Sarah Palin

The Little Veep that Could:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sarah Palin on Climate Change

In the final installment of Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Curic. I had to snigger a bit at the climate change portion of the conversation:
Couric: I want to start with climate change, if I could. What's your position on global warming? Do you believe it's man-made or not?

Palin: Well, we're the only arctic state, of course, Alaska (ed: it's awfully nice that she's made us aware of this). So we feel the impacts more than any other state up there, with the changes in the climates. And certainly it is apparent. We have erosion issues and we have melting sea ice, of course. So what I've done up there is form a sub-cabinet to focus solely on climate change. Understanding that it is real.

Couric: Is it manmade in your opinion?

Palin: You know ... there are man's activities that can be contributed to ... the issues that we're dealing with now with these impacts. I'm not going to solely blame all of man's activities on changes in climate. Because the world's weather patterns ... are cyclical. And over history we have seen changes there. But kind of doesn't matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is it's real, we need to do something about it. And like ... Tony Blair had said ... when he was in leadership position, he said, "Let's all consider the fact that it is real." So instead of pointing fingers ... at different sides of the argument as to who is to blame, and if nature just to blame, let's do something about it. Let's clean up our world. Let's reduce emissions. And let's go with reality.

That first section in the second response is a doozy. Pure water-treading. She'd better have it more on the ball than that tomorrow night.

That said, I have to admit that I'm somewhat heartened that she at least acknowledges that climate change is occurring. But exactly how is it that she thinks we can mitigate it if we didn't cause it in the first place?