Only Hunts Blaculas

Aaron has one of those 1000 word pictures that ties in with my previous post about how truly scared the wingnuts are of loosing this election. They’re resorting to slurs and name calling, if not outright crazy talk, flinging poo in the hope that some of it sticks. He’s a Muslim, a terrorist, a socialist, etc. etc. you’ve heard them all already, I’m sure.

But Obama is even worse than all these things. He is the epitome of the wingnuts worst nightmare: a moderate black man with a foreign sounding name. What really has them scared is the possibility that Obama might be a popular and effective leader. That he might undo some of the horrible, horrible mess they’ve cheered on over the last eight years. That scares them more than anything, that a black man might make them and their hate irrelevant.

Everything else is just theatrics

Who Knew Sharks Loved Chum So Much?

There’s a certain perverse pleasure to be had in watching the McCain campaign implode so dramatically right before the election.[1] Who would have thought, chumming for votes from the crazies would have gone so horribly wrong?

We all know by now how bogus McCain’s claim to being a maverick is, but there was, once upon a time, an area where he did buck the GOP system and go against the party. There was a day when McCain kept the Religious Right at arm’s length and told the fundies like Pat Robertson where they could take their special interests.[2] Obviously, you can’t win an election as a Republican by doing this. Your policies simply aren’t popular enough to carry a majority win without the wingnuts on your side. Normally, this isn’t a problem for the GOP, who have successfully used the Southern Strategy for the last 30 years to ensure they had the crazy vote locked up before the primaries even began. But that’s where McCain’s maverickiness got him in trouble. He didn’t count on the crazification factor biting him in the ass.

Previous dunderheaded Republicans bumbled their way into office by sweet talking the fundies, racists, homobigots, Birchers, anti-UNers and gun nuts early on. They throw a few bones to the social conservative fringe while they’re still governing Texas (as an example) and then spend the primaries trying to appeal to the moderates, swing voters and conservative Democrats who are tired of loosing. If you get the 27%ers early on like this, all you need is to win over another quarter of the voting populace.[3] But McCain’s a Maverick. He didn’t appeal to the rabid base before the primaries and so has spent his time trying to do two mutually incompatible things at once: win over the lunatic fringe and the moderates. And we’ve seen how well that’s worked.

It’s become obvious that his biggest gamble was nominating Sarah Palin as his running mate. He bet the whole race on a divide and conquer tactic – She’d throw red meat to the rabid base while he glad handed the moderates and swing voters. That’s why, right after the convention, they were rarely seen together. They were traveling in different circles. But those circles collided once it became obvious that Sarah Palin was too good at her job. Once your supporters start chanting “Traitor!” and “Kill him!” at rallies, you’ve got a mess on your hands that the little lady from Wasilla (wink) can’t handle on her own. So, daddy McCain has to step in and get his hands dirty, telling the base to shut the fuck up or they’ll ruin everything. Which just reminds them that this man, whose name is at the top of the ticket, is not one of them. Never has been.

Which is the real problem. Wingnuts most assuredly are a pack of morons, but they know that Sarah Palin is no Darth Cheney and however much they may want her to be the puppet master of a McCain administration, it simply won’t happen. Which has them even more pissed off than usual.[4]

It must suck to realize that your running mate is more popular than you are but that’s the situation John McCain is in right now, a week before the election. Tough luck, Johnny boy.

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1. Standard democratic voters caveat applies: just because McCain is 8 points behind and flailing like a special needs student who’s lost his helmet, it doesn’t mean we should get relaxed. If the GOP know how to do one thing, it’s throw an election. Vote Obama, as early as you can.

2. Mostly this was because Jon McCain had his hands full with Wall Street lobbyists who wanted him to lead the deregulation brigade, so they could change the rules and make buckets of money trading shitty loans that they had repackaged, artificially inflating the housing investment market. Because hey, what could go wrong there?

3. Which is where the swing states come in. There’s a reason Florida and Ohio have always been hotly contested and it is only partly to do with these states being the home of so many stupid, stupid people undecided voters. They’ve been rigged to be swing states through a combination of fucked up primaries, redistricting and electoral shenanigans. Voting in these states is such an arduous process that only the most dedicated citizens will bother.The GOP, counting on the poor and disenfranchised not to spend time arguing about IDs, polling addresses and hanging chads, concentrate all their effort in contesting the results in these states so that they maintain a safety zone well inside the margin of error.

4. The wingnuts are already hyperventilating at the idea of a moderate black man with a foreign sounding name becoming president. It should be interesting to see what lunacy they develop during the forthcoming Obama administration. And by interesting I mean repulsive, frightening and sad.

Clap Louder, You Swine!

Daniel over at Crooked Timber has a nice little post on the financial crisis and how, contrary to popular opinion, it wasn’t the result of stupid bankers banking stupidly, but from far more complex issues, as financial problems tend to be. As an aside, he linked to this article in the Spectator by Melanie Phillips, who blames the bankers (of course) but also casts the whole predicament in the frame of the culture war, so that it isn’t just the fault of an army of incompetent professionals infiltrating the highest echelons of the financial industry, but also the fault of all us atheists. Again. Our moral perfidity is so far reaching as to have touched even the sacred halls of the banking industry, which, until Richard Dawkins came along, was lily white and motivated purely by Christ’s injunction to take what thou hast and give it to the poor at an adjustable, 30 year rate with high yield dividends.[1]

Continue reading “Clap Louder, You Swine!”

My Brain, No Longer on Fire

Woke up this morning with a ridiculous headache. Guess that’s what I get taking a shot every time McCain said, “My friends.” I kid! I didn’t watch the debates last night because then Elvira would be scooping what was left of my brain off the living room walls this morning and that’s just not a nice thing to do to your wife.But! I’m feeling much better now, so there’s that.

Aparently, by having my hea dina bucket of ice last night, I missed McCain refereing to Obama as That One, which as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you isn’t racist at all. I mean, it’s not like an elderly old coot who joined the Navy before it was even integrated would have any lingering racial tics, so nothing to worry about!

Then of course McCain seems to be unable to tell the difference from an overhead projector and a plantarium projector.  But come on! the man still remembers when you had to quary giant slabs of stone and arange them in a circle on a field in order to see anything in the sky, so give the guy a break. Science isn’t important these days anyway.

And of course there are still people who, three weeks out, are undecided. really? You just can’t make up your mind, huh? these guys have only been campaginign for18 months, so i could understand how youmight not have had time to find any appreciable difference between a creeky old white dude who has voted with Bush 90% of the time and this guy. So yeah, tough decidion there. Needs more study. We’ll get back to you real soon, once we’ve finsihed sniffing this glue.

I’m going back to bed. Wake me when Preisdent Obama is ready to give his acceptance speach.

Bread and Circus Will Kill Us All

McCain as the Joker:

Take your pick of suitable pulp narratives: Wall Street as wild west gambling saloon or corrupt urban jungle, there has been no shortage of loose-cannon melodrama in the name of Restoring Order, none of it remotely constructive. First was Henry Paulson with his out-of-the-blue no-accountability bail-out plan, followed by Bush with his “there is even more to fear than fear itself” address, both trying to goad the nation into a state of malleable panic. None of this serves the nation as an anchor for morale or perspective. Entropy increases.Enter John McCain. He “suspends” his campaign on the spur of the moment and sweeps into Washinton without a plan, lying his way out of an appearance on David Letterman’s show and setting himself up for ridicule before a national audience, triggering Bush to call a pointless photo-op summit at the White House and throwing  both the bail-out negotiation timetable and the debate timetable into question. Perversely, he leaves the meeting having said barely a word. Meanwhile, his campaign tries to shelter running mate Sarah Palin from any meaningful and/or revealing dialog with the press, after having created the overnight Palin media sensation in the first place.

The political process in this country, like the economy, like our foreign policy, has become a series of bombshells and cliffhangers. History has been replaced by a narrative for short attention spans, akin to HBO, the Hollywood blockbuster cycle and the comic book.

As much as I love comics, I like them to stay on the page, or if they have to stray at all, into a theater. Even then, I’m weary. And watching John McCain over the last two weeks has been a lot of bad theater. The cheep melodrama is getting so thick, even conservatives are loosing their shit. And who could blame them? The GOP is trying to distract us long enough to steel the election. And I mean steal – at this point that’s the only credible way this freakish clown could get into office – through malfeasance, shenanigans and a complete disregard for the American people and the democratic process. Unfortunately, he’s shown that he has all of these, in spades.

The election is yours to loose, Obama. Try not to be that much of a Democrat. Because the next four years we need something different, not a Dukakis side show that leads to Prince John of the Death Wish and little Princess Sarah the Cheerleader, bringing on the Doom.

Link via Xeni Jardin on Twitter.

Some Thoughts On the Shock Doctrine

Wednesday night we went to hear Naomi Klein talk about her book, The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism. I haven’t had the time to properly digest everything she talked about but some initial thoughts:

She did a remarkable job of explaining the shock doctrine* and how it applies to not just recent history (both the obvious, like 9/11 and the fall of communism) and with tying it in with the election and the economic meltdown.

Continue reading “Some Thoughts On the Shock Doctrine”

In a Post LHC World, Anything Can Happen

You may have noticed this week that the world was not destroyed. While this tends to happen on a fairly regular basis, this week the world didn’t blow up in spite of unfounded concern about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Some people were afraid that by turning on the LHC, the world would be converted into Strange Matter, sucked into a micro black hole or would in some other way befall a fate worse than a mediocre episode of Stargate SG-1.

Or maybe it did.

Perhaps by turning on the LHC,* the fundamental properties of physics have gone subtly but irrevocably boink. You can’t tell, see, because we’re on this side of the event horizon and everything on Earth 2 is at an oblique angle to how things were on Earth 1.

For example:

On Earth 1, John McCain said that governors and mayors weren’t experienced enough to be Vice President or President while in Earth 2, he nominated Sarah Palin, who is now a world renowned Russian expert due solely to her being able to see Russia from the Governor’s mansion in Alaska.**

Also, on Earth 2, the US Army has a super secret weapon that is as revolutionary  in modern warfare as the tank or the nuclear bomb. You just can’t, you know, see it. My guess? Yaks with laser beam eyes. It’s a post-LHC world, baby. If the GOP can field a woefully unqualified soccer mom for the VP slot and still be taken seriously, then yaks now have laser beam eyes. QED, bitches.

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* The large hadrons are not yet colliding, as the proton flow is only going in one direction. At near the speed of light. How cool is that? So long as they don’t cross the streams, we should be OK.

** Which means that, because I can see the moon form my window, I am now an astronaut. Suck on it, Neil Armstrong!

Seriously?

Librarians for Palin? Are you high? She threatened to fire one of us for not doing her bidding and you think this is the sort of person who deserves to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? When that heartbeat is farting around in the 72 year old chest of john Effing McCain?

At least the Librarians Against Palin have the good sense to use WordPress.

Links via Jessamyn West (who is also on Twitter)

Update: Pam Spalding at Pandagon finds ABC doing some actual journalism on Sarah Palin and her taste in literature.

A Hand in Our Future

Obama’s Speech – This right here is the point of it all:

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

If you’re looking for a difference between Democrats and Republicans, this is it: the Republican party does not think we are better than this. These last eight years? That was on purpose.  The GOP doesn’t think Americans are worthy of Universal Health care, a 21st century infrastructure or any of the other qualities that mark a modern democracy.

The GOP would rather sell off our economy, piece by piece, just to pad the bank accounts of their friends. They want to privatize as much of the government as possible, so that you and me can’t have a say in the future shape of our country. They’d rule us like Medivil Prince’s if they could.

Some of them genuinely think humans as a species aren’t worthy of such liberties, that we were born into a state of ignorance and depredation that should persist, because it is a voodoo curse. Others just think they’re better than the rest of us and so should have more of everything.

Never forget: the Republican Party likes the results of the Bush Administration so much, that they nominated McCain to perform his third term.

And that’s why I’m voting for Obama. Because I disagree. I think we can and will be better.