Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Five Minute Posting

Don't know about you, but I've been immersed in the vagaries of our economy's meltdown. It's hard to follow all the unraveling threads.
From Bernanke's panicky proclamations to Paulson's shaking left hand to the NPR reporter's description of the three-page proposal for redemption as "the financial Patriot Act," not a damn one of them is making me think anyone knows what to do.
The most cogent thing I've heard yet was my former English teacher Jon Robbins comment about where all the money in the investment banks' lousy, corrupt and insolvent hidey holes originated. He reminded me that it was George Bush's tax cuts for the uber wealthy that sent them hunting for interests bearing mattresses where they could stuff their windfalls. I have to keep reminding myself and anyone who will listen that under Dwight Eisenhower the top tax bracket was 91 percent. Were that true today, I guarantee we would not be in this particular fix.
On another front, with only the most oblique transition since this is a speedy post, check out the Midcoast Green Collaborative. Here are some local people doing yeoman's labor on the green energy front.
Hope you're all well stocked in canning jars, flour, sugar, coffee, cordwood and seed. It could be a long road to spring.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Gauntlet: Can Anyone Argue Fallows' Point?

I've loved reading the Atlantic Monthly for nearly 30 years, largely because of James Fallows. He writes succinctly and with facility as an American with an international point of view. In his most recent column he uses Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin's response to a question about the Bush Doctrine as further proof of her utter unsuitability for the job McCain has assigned her. He also speaks pointedly to the judgment of anyone who would put her in such a position.
Fallows' overarching point is that Palin simply hasn't been interested in foreign policy:
What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the "Bush Doctrine" exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.

The most compelling thing here is that Fallows isn't attacking her intelligence, competence, patriotism or enthusiasm for the job. He's stating the obvious. Anyone who has paid any attention to foreign affairs for the last seven years would have been able to identify, if not aptly define, the Bush Doctrine. Palin's blank look and defensiveness, particularly her apparent wish to make Gibson into the bad guy, tell everything necessary.

And the rush of words, oy, she's like one of my high school juniors (not the AP group) answering an essay question on a story she never even heard of let alone read.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Maine's WCSH 207 Host Rob Caldwell Interviews McCain

Caldwell is polite and works hard to keep McCain on task, without a whole lot of luck.
Notice how McCain doesn't know how many days have passed since he announced his VP pick. [Video replaced with link because WCSH's code automatically started the vid playing as soon as the front page opened. Annoying.]

Quick Props to Glenn Greenwald

If you think Afghanistan remains a problem and/or, like me and my sister, have a friend serving there, today's Glenn Greenwald column is a must read. He explicates recent reporting about the attacks on Afghan civilians, nailing down the Ollie North-Fox News responsibility for the ruse.
Putting. Greenwald. On. My. Blogroll. Now.

Voting: Our Sacred Right

Craig Ferguson, a righteous Scotsman who just became an American citizen, calls out the non-voters in this country. (I've loved this guy's work for years.) Crossposted with bonus rant at Lacunae Productions.

Susan Collins, Ugh 2.0

Only seem to have time for video posting lately. Luckily there are some good ones around. It's an uphill battle to get Tom Allen into the Senate. Dems are voting for Collins in droves according to my unscientific poll as a phonebanker. Last night I noticed a slight shift toward Allen, though. Maybe this ad will help.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Dollars, Maybe a Vote or Two

From the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center.

Half the country thinks Obama's tax plan will raise their taxes. They're wrong. Please tell them.

Do you know any millionaires who need tax cuts? The handful I know well are old enough to remember the 90-something rates of Dwight Eisenhower. Also, McCain's plan loses revenue for the U.S. Shrinking government to aid billionaires. Great. Just great.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Samantha Bee Loves Palin's Gynecology

The Daily Show simply can't be beat. BTW, if this fails to buffer properly, go to Sam Bee's cast page and click on the video. For whatever reason the Comedy Central site runs the clips without a hitch.

McCain: Perspective, Pathos

During my phone canvassing shift last night I had a conversation with the Bolducs of Edgecomb, a self-described "military family" voting for McCain in November. I wish they could see this video.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The One School in McCain's Speech

Yes, yes, I know I promised local news. How did I know Palinmania would strike and that McCain's campaign would be exposed as so doltish?
The latest example of incompetence came in the first minutes of his acceptance speech last night. In the first minutes the Big Brother screen behind him showed a picture of a mansionesque building that some apparently mistook for one of his homes.
Turns out it is Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California. Apparently, McCain's people meant to show Walter Reed Hospital and failed to gather the right image from cyberspace.
Talking Points Memo exposed this gaffe this morning and it's been picked up by ABC at minimum.
Turns out this is the only time a school of any kind showed up in his long and mostly soporific speech.

The Cayman Islands of Lobbying

With both conventions behind us, the opportunity for the secret, i.e. out of journalists' view, lavish massaging of politicians has come to an end. Watch Matt Taibbi call out the corporate arm twisters and the sham of the "free speech zones" at both conventions on Bill Maher's HBO's Real Time on 29.Aug.08.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Your Weekly John McCain Video

Yes, it's edited; yes, the voice over is over the top; yes, it demonstrates that McCain's characteristic objectification of women could sink him.