Thursday, February 28, 2008

Politrivia

So, what's the big noise on Obama from his opponents?
  1. He doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin. This criticism comes from Jack Kingston (Ninny, GA), who wasn't wearing a lapel pin, either, when he appeared on Dan Abrams' show on MSNBC.
  2. His middle name is the same as that of the late Iraqi dictator...and millions of other people.
  3. He's secretly a Muslim (which he isn't, and which isn't illegal in this country anyway).
  4. The pastor of his church (whom Obama does not control) has some good things to say about Louis Farrakhan (whom Obama denounces).
Meanwhile, somebody's getting plenty of play out of the fact that John McCain was born in the Canal Zone on an American military base to American parents serving in the American military, which makes him...an American citizen.

Not to be outdone, Bush held a press conference and was pretty much all over the map. He harped on the now-discredited-by-members-of-his-own-party notion that the Democratic-controlled Congress is not budging on their denial of immunity to the telecoms who aided Bush in his illegal wiretaps of American citizens, thereby hastening the next 9/11-style cataclysm. He was also surprised to hear that some analysts believe the price of gasoline could hit $4 a gallon in the next few months (it's about $3.17 here now).

Oh, and Nader picked some loser to be his VP.

Big numbers in the Big House

The Pew research folks tell us that the US locks up its citizens at a rate greater than any other nation on earth: just over 1%. Black Americans are incarcerated at more than triple the rate of their white brothers and sisters. And we are #6 on the list of the number of people we execute; we'll have to work a bit harder if we want to beat China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, and the Sudan (I don't think they count the people we actually kill in those countries).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wallflower

Hillary: "Hi, handsome. Have you decided who you're taking to the prom this year?"
Voters: "Not yet, but I'm leaning pretty far towards someone."
H: "I hope it's me!"
V: "I'm kind of surprised you even want to go, after what happened last year."
H: "I'll tell you a secret: I let that tailhound take me to the junior prom just so I could meet you."

V: "I kinda got that impression. He was dancing with every hot girl there, and left you by yourself. Why didn't you get mad?"
H: "I didn't want to look like a shrew. I wanted to make sure I had a date for the senior prom."
V: "Well, it's that time again."
H: "Yep. It's MY turn now. This will be OUR year."
V: "Hold on; I didn't say I was taking you."
H: "Oh, sure, you have to say that to be polite to the other girl, but you will. You know you will."
V: "The other girl is very attractive."
H: "But can she dance? I have experience as a dancer."
V: "Yeah, I've seen you dance. But I like her style better."
H: "She has no substance. She's an airhead."
V: "That's not fair. She's an excellent student, and is great at public speaking."
H: "Oh, she stole that material from another girl's paper."
V: "Actually, she and her girlfriend worked on that paper together."
H: "Whatever. Let's look at this dispassionately."
V: "But I want to feel passionate about my prom date."
H: "What do you want? You want me to fake a sweet Southern accent? 'Cause I can do it."
V: "Now you're getting shrill."
H: "My-my feelings are hurt. Must...not...cry...unless you find vulnerability attractive."
V: "Why do you want to be my date so bad?"
H: "Because this is our senior year. It's now or never!"
V: "What if it's never?"
H: "You know what? I might just have to talk to your parents. They always liked me. They'll MAKE you take me."
V: "Way to win me over, Hill. Besides, they've seen how much I like the other girl, and will pretty much support whatever makes me happy."
H: "PICK ME, GODDAMMIT! I'LL MAKE YOU HAPPY! I CAN SING! LET ME SING FOR YOU!"
You're my obsession
You're my obsession
Who do you want me to be
To make you sleep with me?
V: "This is getting sickening, Hill. Please go."
H: "But what will I do for the prom?"
V: "I hear Ralph needs a date."
H: "Ralph ALWAYS needs a date."
V: "Don't be bitter, Hill. Maybe the prom isn't your thing. Can't you just content yourself with Student Council?"
H: "I guess I'll have to, no thanks to YOU!"
V: "You have to go now. I have to get ready."
H: "You'll be sorry you ever chose her."
V: "Maybe, maybe not. But it's MY decision, isn't it?"
H: (mutters) "Not if I can help it."
V: "What's that?"
H: (brightly) "Nothing! See you around, big boy."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Well, that about wraps it up for Nader's legacy

Incredibly, Ralph Nader has announced his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States.

There are other ways to voice one's opinions without running for president. Even John Kerry learned to leave the political stage after his loss in 2004 without having to be hit on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper too many times.

Forget winning, I don't think there's a way for him to even spoil the 2008 election for the Democrats. It's an utterly meaningless decision from which no good can come.

Don't go away mad, Ralph; just go away.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Desperation: Hillary's new perfume

Hillary Clinton's camp are trying to construct a Pyrrhic victory before our eyes.

Because Florida and Michigan moved up their primaries, the Democratic National Committee stripped those states of their delegates. Both Clinton and Obama accepted that decision; Obama wasn't even listed on the Michigan ballot. As a result, the campaign strategies of the two candidates were altered.

Now that Clinton is in a fight for her political future, she wants to go back on her word and have the results of those primaries counted, since she "won" them. She's trying to play it as an unfair disenfranchisement of the voters, but the tactic is transparently grasping.

If Clinton wins the nomination because of this, she will have destroyed the Democratic party. Already, her husband's legacy as President has been greatly diminished by his intemperate behavior on the campaign trail. She now risks political fratricide by forcing this Florida/Michigan issue on her supporters and colleagues. It is selfish and unstatesmanlike.

She can yet head off disaster by immediately reiterating her support for the DNC sanctions, but I don't see it happening. This is her moment in history, and she sees it slipping away from her, like anxious Orpheus.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Contempt

The House of Representatives voted to hold in contempt of Congress ex-counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff Josh Bolten for stonewalling over the firing of US attorneys.

Predictably, the Republicans weren't happy about this, and played their favorite card: fear.

Lamar Smith (R, TX) said that "
...the Democratic majority cares more about...the personnel decisions of the White House than they do about promoting national security."

The "national security" issue Smith referred to is the update to FISA; you know, the one that lets the White House and the telecoms off the hook for their warrantless wiretapping.

The Republicans are in effect saying, "Don't worry about THOSE violations of law; hurry up and green light these OTHER violations of law."

They want unlimited power for the Executive (unless it's a Democrat, I'm guessing), and a free ride for Big Business. Not a surprise, really, from the party of the President who thinks of the Constitution as "just a piece of paper".

Friday, February 08, 2008

Holy crap

You know, when I read that the name Mohammed has now overtaken the name Jack as Britain's most popular boy's name, I was surprised. But it didn't really sink in until I read this.

The baffled and baffling Archbishop of Canterbury is proposing that Islamic sharia law be recognized as equal to British law, and that people could choose which to be governed by.

"Can my 72 virgins be altar boys?"

I didn't realize that Britain had gone so far down on its knees as to actually fellate Muslims as they pour out of the Chunnel into Old Blighty.

Cane-wielding Calvinists invigilating over inattentive worshipers is one thing, but frowsy Stone Age freaks flaying women for having the effrontery to be gang-raped is quite another.

There are plenty of Muslim nations around the world where this kind of thing would be welcome. Why move to Britain just to turn it into a ghetto? Is it the climate? The food?

As an atheist, I'd be glad to see all religion out of the picture, especially of the "more-batshit-than-thou" variety.

How do you say "fuck right off" in Arabic?