US Politics for Dummies

No, we really don’t have to practice US politics for dummies here at AFeatherAdrift, for the simple reason that you readers are both sophisticated and knowledgeable. Those that need to be reading, aren’t of course. That would be the GOP, in case you were unsure.

The Dream Act passed the House. The Dream Act has, of course, no chance of passing the Senate. The brilliant requirement of having to have a super majority on any vote means that little gets done there. And most assuredly, even less than little gets done, when the GOP is about the business of “just saying no.”

The Democrats don’t have the votes to invoke cloture, so they are tabling the Dream Act. But The Reaction makes a good point, and one that at least won’t be lost on some GOPers, if there are any sane ones left that is.

Even in losing, the Democrats go down on record as the party who favors the sane, moral, and rational position, that young Latinos who were brought to this country as children, and who have completed high school, and either military service or college, can get legal residency in this country and move forward to citizenship. The GOP, on the other hand, continue to favor nativism and the cruel  and harsh persecution of undocumented aliens in this country.

The GOP continues to show the country deliberately and with clear intent, that it is the party of the rich and the white. Tell us how that works for you come 2012.

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I thought that as part of the cave-in on tax cuts for the rich, we were getting an extension of unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months. According to Crooks and Liars, that just ain’t so, and the cap is still 99 weeks and you’re through. That is no compromise at all, as I see it. Read the link and see what you think. I’m completely unclear and now see the Democratic House anger as very justified. Guess I’m ready to oppose this damn bill too.

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Can’t say as I’m surprised. It turns out that a slew of newly elected GOPer’s have hired lobbyists to run their congressional offices. Teabuggers ran on the argument that Washington was broken and a den of iniquity peopled with corruption and special interests who no longer did the people’s will. It seems to be business as usual, and that is exactly what we expected to happen. The poor teabuggers will soon find out that they have been taken for the proverbial ride. So much for “we the people” and all that rot. We warned ya, ya know.

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I just want to personally thank GOPer’s in both the House and Senate for blocking a measly one-time payment of $250 to those who collect social  security and have been denied cost of living increases for two years running. Add another group that the GOP has lost in 2012. But do protect the right of the obscenely rich to avoid taxes Repukelicans.

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I read this, but can’t find the link. It seems that teabuggers are mighty unhappy with the compromise tax cut extensions. They had been taken in by the promises of fiscal responsibility promised by the GOPers. Does the word sucker come to mind? Anyway, the novel answer being given by some Restuplicans, is that all that fiscal responsibility doesn’t start until the new Congress is sworn in, so it’s still business as usual until then. Now that’s an argument you can believe in! Enjoy your new master, teabuggers!

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We all talk a lot about economic things, but frankly, most of us, (myself included) don’t understand this stuff all that well. Corrupting Conservatives, gives us a good primer on what all this tax business and economic growth actually mean. This is truly US politics for dummies in an economic nutshell. Do stop by and learn.

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Was it just a week ago or so that Susan Collins said she was in favor pretty much of repealing DADT but couldn’t unless there was a tax cut bill negotiated, the “holy grail” of the GOP? Yes, well, now it seems that Ms. Collins has been instructed to stop that talk, and to get in marching line with the GOP. She is reconsidering her position. Olympia Snow, already did her bit to be immoral and unprincipled, she helped kill the Dream Act in the Senate. These people have no shame, and it proves that you can’t trust any Resucklican. They all lie.

Collins continues to make more demands on Reid, and the we shall see. Some are optimistic, but I’m too used to being screwed to expect the right outcome. Time will tell.

We all know why this is happening of course. Collins is being targeted by the teabuggers and well, re-election trumps principles doesn’t it? I mean, of course, nothing can be more important than retaining my government job.

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What’s on the stove? Ribs in the oven with some smoky paprika mac and cheese and homegrown corn on the side. I’m getting hungry even as I type. It’s Iowa food today!

Short Takes on the Day 10/17/08

Distributor Cap NY  has a nice little piece that describes how the election would be determined given a death of a candidate at different points in the process. It’s worth your while to read this. The information is well worth knowing and understanding.

Brilliant at Breakfast  has a great critique of McCain’s blowing off of women with his air quote of “women’s health” as if it were not a legitimate concern in the arena of abortions. Nice of the old man to write off such a huge chunk of women voters in one fell swoop. He is incredibly senile it seems these days.

Oh it’s starting already. The name calling, the backbiting, and the finger pointing. Bill Kristol and McCain’s campaign team are trading insults. Kristol of course has told McCain to fire the lot of them, the team returns the favor by grousing that Kristol is the one who saddled them with Sarah Palin. It seems we don’t have to wait post election for the inside dirt to begin to fly. Anybody got a poo repellent suit? I think you might need one before walking into the Republican morass. Weeeeeeee. Welcome to our newest political blog, EmptyWheel.

Garrison Keillor reminds us of the momentous thing that we will be doing on November 4. Just maybe, electing the Most  qualified individual and doing so while not paying any attention to ethnicity. It’s really a big thing when you really think about it isn’t it. Keillor of course says it so very much better than I ever could. Go and enjoy the treat.

We flipped around the stations following the debate the other night, and were watching CNN at the time that the huge panel was arguing back and forth about McCain’s performance. On balance they thought McCain did quite well, so of course that all fell by the wayside when the polling data arrived and voters rejected McCain but again. Gergen’s response o A. Cooper’s question of where does McCain go from there was “Beat’s the hell out of me.” This was followed by much laughter. Seriously Gergen continued that McCain should spend the remaining time trying to shore up the down ticket where he could and try to change the tone of his campaign to salvage as much of his dignity as possible. Of course McCain will do no such thing. HIs vicious anger will force him to try to scorch the earth in departing.

McCain has of course groused about the K Street gang and how they have to be cleaned up. Of course McCain himself, being heads and shoulders among the rest of us in integrity, self-control and other related virtues, can use these lobbyists with impunity and not become beholden to them in any way. Seems his Verizon connections have been kind to him. Not only do they run his miserable campaign, but they seem to have erected towers on his property free of charge. The McCains need to be able to communicate you know, with Joe Plumber and Sarah Moose, and Joe Sixpack. It’s My Right to be Left of Center  has the story for you, via the Huffington Post.

I baked a apple pie this morning. I like pies, cream pies more than fruit ones. Liberality, ever the smart sassy political blogger was kind enough to post her favorite recipe for cheesecake. Nobody doesn’t like cheesecake, and this one looks really good. So slip over, and copy furiously and then make it, and then eat it. Please follow the order as given. It doesn’t work well otherwise.

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McCain’s Nose is Growing

I can relate. Most anyone can. One lie builds on another until, the foundation starts to crumble and the whole house of cards falls in a heap. McCain’s campaign has begun to shake and an implosion seems imminent.

And there is no one to blame but themselves it seems. And in fact, it is not clear whom to blame. One is simply not sure whether McCain has in fact been calling the shots, or whether he in his befuddled mind, has simply been okaying everybody’s ideas, no matter how self contradictory they are.

In any case, the campaign is in severe disarray, the left foot not sure where the right foot is, each hand in another cookie jar. And to top it off, they seem to be doing the entire thing with both eyes closed, and both ears stopped. Perhaps they can smell a problem? One would hope.

A plethora of inconsistent things have occurred, and even me, the amateur journalist can manage to figure out that this is one hell of a messed up campaign. Let’s see if we can work our way through the madness and find any coherence, or at least explanation of what has been going on.

  • First we start with the fiasco on Wall Street. Without a thought to history, (his own) McCain (apparently not having heard of xerox machines or other forms of copying remarks) makes the stupid error of saying that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong.” This is then clarified with fundamentals being defined as American workers. So now American workers have a new name, namely they are “fundamentals.”
  • This then morphs into “we are in a crisis the likes of which have not occurred since WWII.” No explanation of how our soundness changed. We are within hours told that “no bailout should occur” to a “bail out is necessary to save America.”
  • On Tuesday, McCain received a copy of the Paulson legislation, three pages in all. By Wednesday, when asked, McCain said he had no opinion because he hadn’t had time to read it as yet. Oops. Either McCain mislaid it, or he reads awfully slow.
  • Sarah Palin gives the most god-awful interview to Katie Couric, since Quayle admonished the kid that potato is spelled potatoe. Actually it was much worse. Not only have they come up with zero explanation for why being next to Russia gives her “foreign policy experience,” she actually made it worse by saying that being sandwiched between Canada and Russia, and being an “executive” somehow makes her obviously knowledgeable. After all, Putin can raise his head ?? and I guess she might see that?? It made no sense.
  • McCain is scheduled to appear on Letterman. No doubt he will be asked about the Palin interview. Oh, lord he doesn’t want to do that, and now the team is desperate to get the Palin interview off the news. (It really was verrrrryyyyy bad, you see.)
  • The poll numbers are also verrrry bad, with Obama pulling away to a nice lead and the internals also being very good for the Democrat as well.
  • All this and now Rick Davis. It turns out Davis has been receiving money up to JULY for his lobbying efforts with Freddie Mac, all to keep those pesky regulations off their back. McCain has already said that Davis quit years ago. Oops. He gets into a war with the NYTimes, but the Times keeps producing facts, and McCain can’t counter except to call them “liberal” stooges for Obama. (He forgot they endorsed him in the primary season I guess.)

All this amounts to a perfect storm for McCain. Everything is going to hell in a handbasket. So, suddenly when Obama indicates that for the sake of the country and calm, they should put out a joint statement that is nonpartisan on the legislative actions now before Congress, McCain decides to throw another hail Mary pass, similar to the one that he is most certainly now regretting. He not only calls for bipartisanship in a statement, but he “suspends his campaign, says he must rush to Washington to save the day, (echoes of Mighty Mouse come to mind) and OH NO, he might have to delay that debate!

Thank goodness, Obama, remained cool and precise. Presidents, he says are expected to multi-task, I will go to Washington if I am needed, and this is precisely the time that debates are important to that the electorate can be clear on our views.

McCain, still operating with less than full command of all his parts, cancels Letterman, telling him that he must rush back to Washington. Except he didn’t. He appeared instead with Katie Couric to talk about the crisis on Wall Street. And, he didn’t fly back after that either. He slept in NY, and went to the Clinton Global Initiative to speak the next day. Letterman is not amused by the obvious lie, and McCain’s handlers decide to ignore that whole thing.

McCain, does not suspend his campaign as far as anyone can see. Ads continue running and when various campaign headquarters across the country are called, they admit to receiving no such order, and are conducting business as usual.

It appears that McCain finally arrived on Thursday in Washington, and contributed almost nothing to the White House meeting. In fact, plenty there suggest his very public entrance onto the scene, stalled negotiations, and politicized it, when before it had been pretty non-partisan.

The debate holders ignore McCain’s grandstanding and are fully intent on going forward. If McCain doesn’t show, they suggest that they may let the audience ask questions of Obama instead. Now Obama might get a full 1 1/2 hours of free time on primetime TV. They pay no attention either to McCain’s argument that the Palin debate might have to be postponed as well, (scrapped he hopes). That too is ignored.

What to make of all this? Like I said, it was a perfect storm, and McCain went nuts it seems, and just demanded a time out. I think the Letterman cancellation was designed to avoid dealing with the Palin mess. The rest of it suggests that the campaign has NO IDEA what to do about Wall Street and needed time to figure out a coherent position. The dancing around about the debate, is that McCain is simply scared poopless that he is not prepared and can never be prepared.

McCain is obviously attempting to drive this Wall Street mess, and appear as the savior of the plan, whatever one is finally passed. Or he will vote nay, and try to claim that Obama and the Democrats are with Bush on this, and they aren’t. I doubt they know yet. Policy you see is not important here, it’s getting the best for the campaign out of the disaster. He is ironically and amazingly still trying to spin this as him placing country first. That is an outrage of the first order.

Worse, they have to deal with Palin, and there is no solution to this. She is horrific, so bad that it’s embarrassing to watch. Yet they have no basis by which to call off her debate. None, she is clearly not at all involved in this economic mess or solution.

One wonders just what is going on inside. I’m sure there is screaming aplenty and finger pointing going in every direction. McCain is blaming everything and everybody no doubt. Surely not himself. This is the gift he offers to the American people as his “government.” Because, you can be sure, these folks aren’t doing this for fun, they fully expect to be getting job in John’s house. And that would be a scary place indeed from what we have seen the past week. Country first my eye. This is just the sad results of a man who it seems is a pathological liar of the first order. Except, folks have caught on. Pinocchio John, remember him?

I look forward to getting to bed early election night, but then again, heck I may stay up. It may be worth it to turn on Faux Noise and watch them vomit into pails strategically placed next to their chairs as they whimper and moan the night away. Popcorn anyone?


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Lil Bits of Rancor or Not 9/26/08

Last week, we reported on the gaffe of McCain in not recalling whom the prime minister of Spain was. Apparently the McCain caretakers are so frightened of these continuing problems with memory that McCain continues to exhibit, that they are willing to go to any expense to avoid making that admission. So, McCain, we are told, knew exactly what he was saying and knew exactly who Zapatero is. That claim makes matters ever so much worse to many. Is McCain willing to trash an ally to win an election? You betcha he is. Read this Huffinton Post report from AlterNet.

Recipe time. This one is Chocolate Chip Muffins. And according to Baking Delights  it’s the best recipe in the universe. That takes in substantial territory so I’m expecting a lot from this recipe. Hope you find it delicious as well.

Break the Terror  brings us this story. It’s not a new concept, but they flesh it out nicely. Remember that in the past few days McCain in his feeble way has attempted to tie Obama to Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and an enabler of sorts? I just don’t get these folks, since Rick Davis, his main man was paid nearly 2 million in fees for lobbying for deregulation so they could do their thing unregulated as it were. McCain is either so totally unaware of what’s going on in his own campaign, or he is one of the more serial liars of all time.

By any chance did you feel older the other morning when you woke up? I know I did, and now I know why. It seems scientists are busy doing science things and think that life arose on earth some 80 million years earlier than previously thought. Creationists are scurrying to revise their assessments no doubt.

I don’t claim any expertise about the economy (gosh I hate being grouped with John McCain) but I’m told that if there is one article about this banking mess you should read it is this one. Sebastian Mallaby writes an op ed for the Washington Post. Ezra Klein  gave us the word on this.

History News Network has I think a worthwhile article on American politics and how we have come to this juncture. A distinct thread of anti-intellectualism runs through the heart of this country, and we are consistently drawn to the “guy just like us” who is never just like us of course. This is exactly when we most need someone who is extraordinary to help us through crisis after crisis. Will we again opt for ordinary? Why does the Republican Party continue to be able to co-op so many people with an message is that is false? Just some of the questions answered here.

Well, I bet you didn’t know this: Chimps prefer their food cooked. I don’t recall jane Goodall ever talking about watching her chimps around the campfire cooking on a spit. Wonder why she omitted that? Well, Live Science says it’s true. So it must be. Also Neanderthals seem to have eaten both seals and dolphins. I guess they were not politically correct. Such folks would be shunned today as rather grotesque wouldn’t you say?

McCain caught in another lie, and boy are they adding up. He said that Rick Davis, his campaign manager hadn’t worked for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for “years.” Turns out Davis was paid by both until last MONTH. So it seems McCain will either be calling Davis a liar and firing him, or biting the bullet again with another lie. So says Steve Benen at The Political Animal.

Laila at Raising Yousuf and Noor  tells us exactly what it can be like to be Muslim in America. This is exactly the type of hatred engendered, I submit, but the hate filled campaign of a John McCain. I visited a web site earlier today (I won’t mention the vile place) in which Obama and Biden were referred to as Obama bin Biden. This is what John McCain brings to America. It is a shame.

If miracles are your thing, slip by rogueclassicism  and read about San Gennero’s Blood which liquifies at certain times of the year, well, miraculously it seems. Examinations have concluded that the phials indeed contain blood and there is no final explanation of why it liquefies on certain days of the year.

John McCain seems to have painted himself in a corner. In an obvious attempt to stop all the talk about how the polls are going against him, he came up with the grandstand play to capture attention. Problem is, nobody is buying it. Universally it’s being met as a political ploy, one that is not working as several in Congress say that his parachute jump into the middle of negotiations and the president’s “meeting” have wasted time and stalled negotiations. See what the American Prospect  has to say on the subject. Johnny can claim he is putting country above politics, but the obvious conclusion is that he put his political future first. Not exactly the first time he has done that.

Oh and in case you missed it, Sarah Palin has unilaterally declared “victory in Iraq.” In her illogical laden but cute squeaky voice, Sarah has said that iraq and the surge are the pattern we must use in Afghanistan now. It will be difficult she  says, because of that pesky “terrain, even” in Afghanistan. What a monumental joke this woman is. She offends me on more levels than I can count. She makes women, and small town people look like idiots, and I’m seriously pissed.

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Sweep Out the Special Interests?

One of the things that has been bugging me this week is John McShame’s unabashed claim that he and Sarah are going to Washington to clean it up. How this will be done is of course not announced or explained. Pretty hard to do, I’d say. Nobody in the Neo-Con nether world suggests that the Republicoots have even t he remotest of chances of retaking the House or Senate. In fact, all polls suggest that they are going to bleed off even more seats in both, perhaps giving the Democrats a veto-proof majority.

So, the actual plan of attack is not at all made clear to anyone at first pale. But what also strikes me as disingenuous is the claim that this dynamic duo also intends to put the stop to special interests in Washington. That, it strikes me, is just plain funny, if not downright pathetically a lie and a fraud. Of course, this would put it right in line with the typical Rovian political game plan we have come to know so well. Lie, lie, lie and lie, What is remembered, will be the truth to the poor sucker who drinks his beer, and stumbles into the booth to vote, aware of only what he thinks he heard on commercials between his big time wrestling shows.

I’ve been trying to figure out how they pursue this course with a straight face for some days. Sarah claims that she “fought the oil interests” and won in Alaska. Interestingly, I suspect that that means that she and her fellow Alaskans just got a slightly bigger piece of the pie from the oil companies. You know of course that Alaskans, unlike dumb Texans and others oil rich areas in America were smart enough to not give leases without a guarantee that all Alaskans would get paid for their agreement. So, it sounds more like greed than ethics reform to me.

Johnny Sidney has been blabbing about how he would curb special interests in Washington for ever it seems. Somehow he thinks I guess that his ENTIRE FREAKING CAMPAIGN STAFF is invisible. They are all lobbyists for the most part. And a fair number have been embarrassed to be found out, working for such nasty regimes as Myanmar and such. Plenty of them have also been lobbyists for people and things that have come before Johnny’s various committees as well.

Finally, after scandal number 4, Johnny put his foot down. No more lobbyists who were actively  working as such or were full time  campaign workers. I guess I don’t need to point out the loopholes do I? We already have read a good deal about Randy Scheunemann and his working for the Georgian’s and how Johnny tried to get them in NATO and such. We have wondered just why Georgia thought that the US might support them in their attempt to seize South Ossetia. We have so far got no answers. But Randy did set up the meeting between McCain and the prez of that state.

Randy is but one of the embarrassments that somehow are allowed to get off the hook by a media still considered the real “base” of John McCain’s campaign. If you would like to see a fine article that runs down the campaign big folks and their lobbyist ties, then slip over to AlterNet and read the slimy news. It is disgusting in its depth and array.

Here are a few tidbits to entice you:

  1. Charlie Black. Among his clients are AT&T. Black helped to get the immunity retroactive for the telecommunications folks so the spying could go on without anyone being arrested. He has represented a number of thugs from repressive regimes. He was the main man for Ahmed Chalabi, all around liar who “duped” Bush and Co. into Iraq. Good friend of Rove’s and learned at his knee all about slime politics.
  2. Rick Davis. Very close friend. He bled the telecommunications folks for campaign funds. McCain is chairman of the committee that oversees their activities. AT&T has 21 people inside McCain’s campaign, and Verizon has 18. With Davis, McCain formed the “Reform Institute” which is supposed to work for cutting down the lobbyist influence, but it’s president is, you guessed it, a lobbyist. It is a front organization essentially. McCain has had to resign from the board because too much of its funds ended up in his campaign and the money came from, you guessed it again, lobbyists.
  3. Randy Scheunemann. He helped construct the neo-con pre-emptive strike strategy that was adopted by Bush/Cheney for Iraq. He helped funnel a ton of dough to Ahmed Chalabi’s front group. He had to stop his active lobbying why also advising McCain on foreign policy. He of course represented Georgia as well as several other small countries.
  4. Wayne Berman. Major domo in the arena of fund raising. He has bundled nearly $500,000 for McCain so far. He represents big oil concerns Chevron, and Shell, and Verizon and various drug companies. He also has taken on Ameriquest the largest mortgage lender.

Those are just the lobbyists. The article has a complete rundown of all the corporate CEO’s who have been on board making sure that Johnny doesn’t do anything that would upset big business. No doubt he won’t.

All this suggests that as with most stuff McCain, the claim that he and Sarah are heading in to clean up Dodge is just plain silly. It is but another non-reality concocted in the dreamlike imaginations of his caretakers. As we have said, truth is but a word, having no meaning in the strange world of McCain/Bush politics.

I cannot deny that this makes me see red. We know that the vast electorate is much too lazy to bother to learn much about politics. Most rely sadly on the sound bite that comes from commercials. Most don’t read newspapers, news magazines, or watch responsible journalism like PBS. They don’t read books. As I have said before, Republicans know this, believe it, and work from it.

Truth is not the issue, and they know it. They know if they say it often enough, people will accept it as true. They did it in 2000, 2004 and in the run up to the Iraq war. The lie is effective as long as it is repeated again and again. And guess what? Johnny knows it too. Where once he decried and made fun of the Republican weekly luncheon where congress people got their list of talking points and exact phrases to use for the week, now, well, Johnny and company are doing exactly the same.

It’s sad, it truly is. One could take the same fact (people are lazy and rely on tv ads for their knowledge) and use it for teaching the truth. Obama, for the most part seems to be doing that. I check a number of fact checking sites every week. While Obama may stretch the truth here and there, mostly he tells the truth. Mostly, almost always, McCain simply lies, YES LIES. John McCain is simply the most dishonorable, most deceitful, most dishonest politician in a long time.

It remains to be seen what will happen. I am still hoping that the American people have learned something in the last eight misery laden years. Perhaps economic misery is enough to awaken the brain of American Homo sapien sapien. I sure hope so. Let’s hope we are ready to make an evolutionary leap to actually use that stuff between our ears. After all, shouldn’t it be more than just dead weight?

Lil Bits of Rancor or Not 8/15/08

We all know a bit about how athletes train for the Olympics. A huge number of disciplines are now involved, nutrition, sports health, computer technology, and tons more. What was it like back at the beginning? How did athletes train when they actually competed at Athens? Ancient/Classical History Blog brings you a piece from the stoic Epictetus on was was involved. A fascinating look at the differences.

If you are looking for an elegant dessert, and who isn’t, I mean really? You best stop over at Baking Delights and try this Instant Gourmet: Walnut Genoise with Coffee Infused Ganache. Wow a mouthful, err by figuratively and actually. It is simply heavenly with both coffee and chocolate and whipped cream. Oh help my pounding heart I think I am going to drool all over the keys. You must see the photograph of it made! And most importantly, it’s not very difficult to make.

Lordy Lordy, McCain has lost his freaking mind. Seems our befuddled old guy may be in cahoots with bad boy Ralph Reed in Georgia.Reed was a partner of Abramoff, the K Street naughty, if you remember. Ralphie boy lost his bid for lt. governor when all the poopy hit the fan over that. He is scourged quite badly in the new book by Thomas Frank, which was featured on Bill Moyers Journala few weeks ago. Ralph may well be headed for jail before all is said and done. It seems that he is sending out invites for a McCain fundraiser. We are unsure, at this moment whether Johnny intends to attend. If so, Johnboy better look out. If I hear more, I’ll let you know. This source is from Capitol Hill Blue and I’m not very comfortable with them yet as sources.

Garrison Keillor is always funny, or at least chuckle amusing, but he hit the perfect tone today in his essay, “It’s an Amazing Country.”  He rather hits McCain right between the eyes. It’s a chutzpah claim that surely hits home. I mean really, McCain the multimillionaire, son of privilege all his life, calling the black kid raised by a single mom the elitist? Well, as he says, American, she can be an amazing place to live. Don’t miss it.!

A great little piece at AlterNetyou should take a look at. Summing up a host of non-issues and falsified ones, Allan Uthman, runs down the ten most idiotic issues in this campaign so far. Most, but not all have been mentioned on this blog a time or two.  This gives a nice packaged run down of some of the worst offenders, and the real truth behind the lies and innuendo. That they seem to all pretty much fall on one side is, well a given isn’t it? It’s a good read, and actually provides a bit of real good information, expecially on Senator Phil Gramm, the guy you recall who said we were a country of whiners. Look of more of his questionable ethics and economics should, God forbid, McCain win the white house.

A couple of purely Iowan concerns. First Wesley Clark is backing Becky Greenwald in her attempt to unseat Tom Latham in the 4th District. Clark contends Greenwald has shown a strong commitment to veterans while Latham has voted to cut billions in various Veterans programs in order to support tax cuts for the wealthy. Of more general interest, our own Jim Leach, Republican unseated by Loebsack in 2006, is endorsing Obama for President. Leach, all around good guy was felled in the general “throw em out” election of 2006. This unfortunately does happen when people are so thoroughly disgusted with a party. The good goes with the bad. Leach was definitely a good guy, never fitting into Gingrich’s gang, and paying the price with low-interest committee assignments. Good for Leach!

Media Matters reports that the presidential debates will be hosted by NO Foxy NEWsless heads this time around. Good news! And there is some reason to suspect that the blogging community may have influenced that decision. Bloggerdom has vilified of course Fox as a shameless purveyor of Republican talking points. This is of course true. Anyhow, the moderators chosen this time around are: Jim Lehrer and Gwen Ifill from PBS and Tom Brokaw and Bob Schieffer from NBC and CBS. A reasonably good array I would say, especially the first two, but Brokaw is acceptable in my book as well. The post has a long discourse on how the group was chosen, and the efforts of the bloggers to block Fox out.

McCain always touts his solidarity with the military. Apparently nobody has asked the military. By a rate of 6 to 1, Obama is out raising him among overseas personnel. Ron Paul who has suspended his campaign, has out done him by 4 to 1. The only group even close to be in his camp are the Marines. Even the Navy goes for Obama.

On the humorous side, we can all remember how vociferously McCain attacked Bush for invading Iraq? Right? Oh. Well, apparently the Great Old man had an Alzheimer’s moment. He has recently said of Russia’s invasion of Georgia: “In the 21st Century, nations don’t invade other nations.”Guess the old guy forgot his chest thumping endorsement of the invasion of Iraq, and well Afghanistan? Oops. Doh, stupid history!

Among the way out there cadre of anti-abortion advocates (the one’s who like to do graphics to shock people), it has long been the contention that women who have abortions suffer to a greater degree from subsequent mental issues. Not so,according to the APA. Women who have early term abortions as opposed to women who deliver a pregnancy suffer no greater incidence of mental health problems.

Betcha didn’t know that Jesus played cricket did ya? Well, if you want to learn more, stop by Rogueclassicism and find out. A very old Armenian “infancy gospel” seems to suggest that Jesus played such a game in his youth. Interesting stuff, though I’m sure hardly definitive. But certainly water cooler stuff!

It seems prudent to stop by Angry African and catch next weeks news. It’s always special and tailored just for you. I just wish some of it actually turned out to be true. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? Then the African madman could be prescient and we could all ask him questions and he would make oodles of dough answering. Okay, get in on the ground floor and become his manager just in case it happens. Hey, if you invested in Microsoft way back when, you’d be really really rich today. So, I am giving you sound advice!

Lil Bits of Rancor or Not 8/08/08

The question is asked: Do we actually want a government that is free from scandal and cheating? One has to wonder and we learn that so much corruption exists in Washington. The lobbyists and the politicians make deals that feather their own nests and billions is wasted of taxpayer money. Bill Moyers and Michael Winship tell the tale of Abramoff and Delay and a host of others, and how the tales continue as we find how Justice was sold, and how Alaska paid for home improvements. Are we ever going to wake up and do something?

New York Magazine and John Heileman has a must see article on John McCain this week. The Mudslinger is the only way he can go and thus no one should be surprised at the tactic. McCain understands he cannot win on issues, so destroying Obama is his only option, and one that McCain backers know their man has NO problem going with. It appears that the only thing wrong with what happened to McCain in 2000 at the hand of Rove and Bush, was that McCain couldn’t do it first to them. It all ends up being a big question mark how it will turn out. It sickens me no end, but conventional wisdom says that Obama needs to hit McCain hard and fast and not stop. It’s the only way to derail the old man mired in the mud. Others suggest McCain will make short-term gains but fall in the end to an electorate disgusted with someone who has no issues to stand on.  You figure it out, I can’t.

I admit to finding online quizzes of various sorts, mildly diverting of work and amusing in some cases. Episcopalifem  has a link to one that is funny. It’s a personality test, testing your introvert/extrovert quotient among other things. She actually has links to a more serious one as well, if you like that kind of thing. I turned out badly,  a crackpot, no less, lol, but it is just amusing, and there is as I said, a link to a more honest and nice assessment. Have fun!

For you Iowans, I bestowed on Essential Estrogen, an award last week. She did her bit and listed 7 more recipients and of course I checked them out, and found one you might enjoy. It’s going on my blog list for sure. This guy takes the most amazing Iowa photographs. I mean really professional stuff. His sidebar has a wonderful list of shots of Iowa birds. Go and enjoy this one! It’s called Iowa Voice.

A nice article at Gardening Tips ‘n Ideas about butterflies. What they like to eat, with a homemade recipe you can do, as well as the best plants to attract them.

Rep. Steve King is a slime in case you weren’t aware. He really really needs to lose his job. He is still claiming that an Obama win would be a great thing for terrorists world wide. He has posted this vile bilge on his congressional website, paid for by taxpayers. He’s been called the worst by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. I’d take that with a grain of salt, however the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has threatened to sue and Chet Culver says he should remove this incendiary remarks. Did I say he was a slime and needs to be defeated in November?

Maureen Dowd has outdone herself this week. She writes an excellent psychological explanation of what is going on in the McCain campaign. She suggests that the disease also applies to Bill Clinton. And you know something, it does explain a lot of things. It points to an answer for while Bill cannot find it within himself to give a good old fashioned smiling thumbs up endorsement of Barack. It explains a lot of the rather petulant pouting mean spirited cloaked haha junk that keeps emanating from the McCain camp. It’s a good thoughtful read. It’s got nothing to do with anything Maureen insists than plain old envy–Barack is young and the new kid on the block who has mesmerized everyone they way they used to.

I think I mentioned this on my weekly post on “Correcting the Record.” John McDope made a major misstep when he made fun of Obama’s tire inflation plan to help reduce the usage of gasoline. Johnny is beating a hasty retreat and apologizing for it now, as the proof is undeniable that it works and works maybe as good as Johnny’s off-shore drilling turn about. Paul Abrams has a very good post out of the Huffington Post on how this issue may be a a defining one in the campaign. For Johnny has basically mocked us, not just Obama in listening to his oil interests instead of competent experts. Read it and you will be glad you did.