Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Community Organizer

It's been over 24 hour's since the "O" man crushed Johnny the Mac, surprising your humble Commander by the scope of his decisive 53%-46% victory.

Reviewing the campaign of 2008, I have concluded that the #1 reason for his success was his ability to get out the vote:
    In North Carolina Obama has a whopping 45 field offices. McCain claims 40, but these are simply local Republican Party offices, which have to handle local and congressional races as well.

    Obama's offices are his own. Each one is typically led by a paid staffer, but nearly all the work is done by the 17,000 volunteers Obama has recruited in the state. (The Republicans won't say how many volunteers they have.)

    Some of Obama's volunteers sign up the old-fashioned way, in person. Others volunteer online. In their local corner of the Obama Web site, they can meet other Obamaphiles and arrange to knock on specific doors in their neighborhood.

    They can download information about who lives in each house, which party they belong to and what they told the last phone canvasser. They can update this information each time they meet a voter. They can also spend hours on the Web site chatting with like-minded people, watching the candidate's speeches and uploading their own Barack-related videos.
This of course brings to mind what probably was the stupidest thing ever said by any candidate during the campaign (how stupid no one realized at the time):
    Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.
    And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

    I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities.
Are you and the Malkin still mocking Obamas efforts as a "Community Organizer"? Still think it's a joke? Not so funny when you perfect tactics to organize a neighborhood and use them to successfully organize a National Campaign.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Alice, tell me again about this Rabbit Hole?

Yeah, after 2 months away from this thing, I know what the Wonderland Lady feels like. In less then three months, our lily white male lock on the Highest office in America will be ended. Jefferson Davis and Honest Abe should only have lived long enough to see this.

Erik Frank Russel(or the Chinese) certainly got it right, these times are way interesting. I will spare the political analysis of the Obama and McCain campaigns, Ms. Digby does a far better job and I am not in her league. Instead I want to speak of what happens if, the Universe forbid:
  1. The whore media convince enough people that Saint Johnny Mac is the second reincarnation of Regan and he wins the election.
  2. He dies shortly after being sworn in and a 1st term Governor with little or no experience is our new Madame President.
I go even on step further. Anybody who has not drunk the Koolaid knows that Governor Palin was chosen, in the words of dday "as a wet kiss to the religious right". The power behind the GOP, the ultra secret Council for National Policy, would never throw its support for Johnny without this choice for VP. A VP with all of George Bushes messianic zeal but not as stupid.

So President Palin now has the power to run the joint, and she tells the white male power brokers like Cheney, Rove and Dobson to go and &!%$@# themselves. She does not turn into a secret liberal like Justice Souter, but neither is she a mindless conserva-clone like Justice Thomas. Instead she chooses the third way like Justice O'Connor?

If this scenario, which may be far fetch, actually happens, then it will be a testament to another alleged Chinese curse.

Update - My apologies for thinking that Governor Palin was not as stupid as Commander Codpiece. Like Saint Johnny's minions, I failed to vet the Candidate before writing about her. Seems like "Hack n' Sack Sarah" (Good one Mr. Schmeltzer) is just as much an inept leader as the Flight Suit in Chief.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Inherently Contemptible

Karl Rove, aka Bush's Brain, aka Turd Blossom, aka the The Architect, gave House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) the middle finger by refusing a Congressional subpoena to testify.
    Rove Refuses To Appear Before House Judiciary Panel
    By John Bresnahan
    July 3, 2008
    (The Politico) Karl Rove, former White House deputy chief of staff and President Bush's top political adviser, is refusing to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to testify on "politicization" within the Justice Dept. Rove had been scheduled to appear next Thursday, July 10.

    "We want to make clear that the subcommittee will convene as scheduled and expects Mr. Rove to appear...a refusal to appear in violation of the subpoena could subject Mr. Rove to contempt proceedings, including statutory contempt..and proceedings under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives,"
74 years ago in 1934 the last known use of Inherent Contempt procedures were used against a Gentlemen named MacCracken. In the words of the Washington post:
    ...Democrats have shown no appetite for the process, which has not been used since 1935. As the CRS report noted, "It became too cumbersome and time consuming to try contemptuous behavior on the floor."
Of course the WaPo has pretty much become a Mouthpiece for the Administration/RNC, so we take what they say with major scepticism. What is amazing is Commander Codpiece may be responsible for breaking an agreement with the Justice Department that has lasted for almost 8 decades.

The Administration of GWB has not only broken the law on at least 3 or 4 separate occasions (links here, here, here, and here); it has done something that Dick Nixon could only dream of in his wildest fantasy's. It routinely violates establish precedent, even if there is no actual law broken. No laws are broken because the acts are so outrageous, contemptible and beyond the pale that Congress never imagined a law would be needed to prevent them from happening.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just Some Random Thoughts...

Well yeah, it has been a while. And I would update this thing more often if I could type faster.

Enough of this Bravo Sierra, let us cut to the chase. With the Primary Season over and the New York Senator officially suspending her campaign (voluntarily or not), the future of this schizophrenic land of the free depends on whether, to use his own quote 4 years ago:
    ...the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope!
Or whether Senator Obama can survive the firepower of the Republican Political Attack Machine, code name 527:
    Republicans say that using Democrats' own words against Obama effectively augments attacks from McCain surrogates like former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who this morning said, "for all of Barack Obama's charm ... he doesn't have the experience to lead our economy at a time like this."

    "People at this point expect us not to say nice things about Democrats," said Holly Robichaud, a Republican consultant.
As if this is a source of pride (well maybe it is. See John Deans excellent book "Conservatives Without Conscience").

Nor can the Senator from Illinois expect even a smidgen of help from the Media Whores, who long ago ate at the Barbecue of "Sprinkles" McCain:
    AP: As you mentioned, Ron, myself, a couple of AP reporters. we spend quite a bit of time with on the back of the “Straight Talk Express” asking you questions and what we’ve decided to do today is invite everyone else along on the ride. We even brought you your favorite treats.

    McCain: Oh my God…hehehe..Let’s see if we got the right kind. Oh yes, with sprinkles.

    AP: Sprinkles…

    McCain: Hmmm. This is our latest health Program..

    AP: A little coffee with a little cream and a little sugar. I think we’re set for the hard questions.
Yeah, it is enough to make you think, here we go again. Just like the War on Gore in 2000 and the Swift Boating of Kerry in 2004.

Except that maybe this time, the Democratic Candidate "gets it". May be the "O" man (thanks Field) realizes the Corporate Press are not his friends. Maybe his decision today to opt out of public financing is the beginning of strategy that has at it's core a central truth: You can not win an election if you play by the rules established by 12 years of Republican dominance. Rules that are so rigged to favor the GOP and their lobbyist masters that you must change strategies for you to have a chance of winning.

I hope the "O" man succeeds, and am cautiously optimistic about his chances (remember Tom Bradley in 1982). But there are forces in the USA that are terrified should he win the Presidency, an not just the Usual Suspects.

The Corparatocracy that has flourished under Bush/Cheney has operated with impunity, and they very much wish for it to stay that way. A Obama win would put a lot of these crooks out of business, and they like doing business. You can bet the last thing they want is the head of the FDA to be an acedemic with a badge.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Supreme Voter Suppression

The Supreme Court handed Johnny Mac a major victory today by upholding the voter suppression laws in Indiana (excuse me, voter ID laws):
    WASHINGTON — By a 6-3 vote in a closely watched election-year case, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld Indiana's strict voter-identification law, rejecting the claims of Democratic and civil-rights challengers that the law infringes on the right to vote.
    The decision by Justice John Paul Stevens, one of the most liberal members of the court, emphasized that the challengers had not presented sufficient evidence that voters were kept from the polls or otherwise hurt by the law Indiana says prevents fraud.
As noted by the blogger dday:
    This is, as we know, a solution in search of a problem. Voter fraud is a made-up conservative issue, backed by no evidence. While Stevens suggested that there are no "excessively burdensome requirements" imposed on voters who must show ID at the polls, he's answering an unknowable question. We simply have no idea how photo ID centers (if there will be any outside the DMV) in Indiana or anywhere else would be managed, whether the same groups that truck elderly and poor voters to the polls on Election Day will be able to do the same to get people their IDs, and so on. If they require the same documentation that the DMV does, many poor and elderly people simply don't have them. If it requires an application fee, how is that not a poll tax?
The Republican sheet heads who passed this modern version of Jim Crow had to add a provision that IDs would be issued free of charge to people without driver's licenses (can't have any appearance of a poll tax because of that pesky 24th Amendment). However, these are the combination primary and secondary documents needed for a "free ID":

This list the definition of what is an acceptable primary document:

I won't even bother listing the acceptable secondary documents. Bottom line is you need a birth certificate unless your military. Is a birth certificate free and easy to obtain in Indiana? You have got to be kidding:

    Birth records in the ISDH Vital Records office begin with October 1907. Prior to October 1907, records of birth are filed only with the local health department in the county where the birth actually occurred. Fees are established by law (IC 16-37-1-11 and IC 16-37-1-11.5 ). Each search for a record costs $10.00. The fee is non-refundable. Included in one search is a five-year period; the reported year of birth and, if the record is not found in that year, the two years before and after. One certified copy of the record, if found, is included in the search fee. Additional copies of the same record purchased at the same time are $4.00 each. Amendments made to the record are an additional $8.00.
Oh yeah, did I mention that you will need to show some ID to purchase a birth certificate:

But what the heck, it is not like any of this is a real burden to those that wish to vote. And if you believe that, I got a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.

The Master blogger Digby sums it up:

    First of all, let's not forget that this may be the biggest political land mine the Bush administration has set for Democrats. "Voter fraud" was, you'll remember, at the bottom of the US Attorney scandals and one of their main tools for suppressing the Democratic vote. This is the realization of a very long term plan to chip away at the Voting Rights Act. Republicans, like all aristocrats, know that if enough average people vote, they will lose. Period.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Patraeus Testimony: A Snapshot of Bush World

When the spoiled brat from Texas was elected appointed 7 years ago, anybody with half a brain who followed Politics as a hobby knew what was going to happen by the time his term ended in 2008. The United States would be transformed into the Military Industrial Complex, a 2nd Gilded age.

Corporations would be free to bribe their way to success, and if caught a newly transformed Department of Justice would happily accept a bribe themselves so the Plutocrats could avoid prison:
    In Justice Shift, Corporate Deals Replace Trials
    Published: April 9, 2008

    In a major shift of policy, the Justice Department, once known for taking down giant corporations...put off prosecuting more than 50 companies suspected of wrongdoing over the last three years.

    Instead, many companies...have avoided...criminal charges with a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, which allows the government to collect fines and appoint an outside monitor to impose internal reforms without going through a trial. In many cases, the name of the monitor and the details of the agreement are kept secret.
While independent reporting and gonzo documentary films still exist, the average citizen who relies on Major Media (print and electronic) for information would find his knowledge carefully filtered. The so called 4th Estate would function as a house organ for the Government, ensuring that mindless drivel (h/t Glen. You and Digby are the best) would replace any serious examination of Government Policy:
    The U.S. establishment media in a nutshell
    Glen Greenwald
    Saturday April 5, 2008 08:11 EDT
    Here are the number of times, according to NEXIS, that various topics have been mentioned in the media over the past thirty days:

    "Yoo and torture" - 102

    "Mukasey and 9/11" -- 73

    "Yoo and Fourth Amendment" -- 16

    "Obama and bowling" -- 1,043

    "Obama and Wright" -- More than 3,000 (too many to be counted)

    "Obama and patriotism" - 1,607

    "Clinton and Lewinsky" -- 1,079

    And as Eric Boehlert documents, even Iraq...has been virtually written out of the media narrative in favor of mindless, stupid, vapid chatter..."The Clintons are Rich!!!!" will undoubtedly soon be at the top of this heap within a matter of a day or two.
And as for President Washington's pleading against "the mischiefs of foreign intrigue...the impostures of pretended patriotism", forget it. War would be a source of profit disguised under the false flag of protecting America from "The Enemy".

But for all of this I was naive enough to believe that no Professional Soldier would ever allow himself to be used as a political tool. With the promotion of David Patraeus as Commander of the Multinational Force in Iraq, I was an idiot:
    Petraeus' Testimony: Everything His President Wants to Hear

    By undercutting the widespread support for getting out of Iraq, Petraeus did indeed betray the American public, siding with an enormously unpopular president who wants to stay the course in Iraq for personal and political reasons that run contrary to genuine national security interests...

    It is an abdication of civilian control of the assign a central role to an active duty general to make the decision to end the war. It betrays the legacy warnings of our two most famous wartime generals, George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
I retired from the Army 5 years ago shortly after the start of the Iraq quagmire. In June of 2003 I was Channel surfing when I came across a Military Retirement Ceremony broadcast on CSPAN. The retiree was Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki; which blew me away because NOTHING had come down the chain of command about the date and time of this event. I soon found out why:
    Soldiering On
    By: Jennifer Reingold

    There were a few empty chairs at General Eric Shinseki's June 2003 retirement ceremony. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld didn't make it to the event...Neither did Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz...For a four-star general concluding a brilliant career, it was a major breach of protocol.... the general testified before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the looming war in Iraq, Senator Carl Levin asked him what kind of manpower he believed it would take to keep the peace in postwar Iraq. "Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required," he said.

    But it was not the answer [Rumsfeld] was looking for.... Shinseki could have parroted the party line, or hedged his answer to appear more neutral, but he didn't.
As the title of this post says, a snapshot of Bush World.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Johnny Mac, Johnny's Mouthpiece, and Market Madness

While browsing James Wolcott's Blog, I came across the following dust up that started when Elizabeth Edwards commented on Johnny Macs Health Care Program (he does not have one).

Once again attempting to fool the rubes, Johnny Macs Mouthpiece was quoted as saying:

    Edwards’ comments were disappointing and that they revealed she did not understand the comprehensive nature of the senator’s proposal.
Big mistake (h/t to The Field). Health Care is one subject Ms. Edwards knows too well (she has terminal cancer). In a blog post at Think Progress, she proceeds to educate McCain Spokesmen Douglas Holtz-Eakin (Mouthpiece) on what happens to stupid people who confuse politics with policy (to quote Mr. Wolcott, they get a return volley upside the head).
  1. Under your plan, Senator McCain, would any health insurer be required to sell you or me (or those like us with pre-existing conditions) a health insurance policy?
  2. You say your plan is going to increase competition to the point that it actually lowers costs. Isn’t there competition today among insurance companies? Haven’t costs continued to go up despite that competition?
Unfortunately these questions were answered 35 years ago in a book by David Hapgood called The Screwing of the Average Man (No. Yes. Yes. Hell Yes). People get sick, and they die.

If you have seen Mike Moore's excellent documentary Sicko, you're already aware that Insurance Company's maximize payment by denying customers treatment with a variety of scams (yes they are scams). The high cost of health care reflects the administrative overhead of denying legitimate claims.

One more reason, if you need any, to make sure Johnny does not get appointed President. And while health care does not affect me (I'm Retired Military), a hell of a lot of people will get sick and die if his Market Madness becomes law.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Press, The Hand Grenade, and Murphys law of Combat

I read two recent post by the Master Blogger Digby about the Kewl Kidz (thank you Ornicus) openly displaying contempt for the Democratic Nominee. She states in absolute terms the liberal/progressive movement's relationship with the Press:
    ...liberal bloggers declared war on the press many years ago. I'm not sure that this is even controversial. Pushing back on biased, anti-Democrat and pro-Republican lies and editorial judgment is supposed to be one of our primary raison d'etres.
The press is a hand grenade with the pin pulled. To quote from Murphy's law of Combat: "When the pin is pulled, Mr. Hand Grenade IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

But I ordered A Diet Coke!

The title of this commentary derives from an observation my wife made when she worked at a local burger joint years ago. An obviously overweight customer would order a double grease burger with a extra large order of fries and then virtuously order a (usually large) diet soft drink.

This pretty much sums up the discussion this morning by one of our local righty talkers named Dori Monson who can not stop obsessing over the fact that in 2002 before the start of the Iraq War, Congressmen Jim McDermott took a humanitarian trip allegedly financed by Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency. This makes the Congressman McDermott a "spokesperson for the Iraqi government in the run-up to war", which is Righty shorthand for an anti American, terrorist supporter who is so popular with the "progressives".

Yeah Mr. Monson, 4000 dead, substandard contracting that killed 12 Soldiers/Marines, over 9 billion TAXPAYER dollars missing, and 5 years latter, no progress toward resolving this mess and bringing at least some of our men and and home, but what the hey, that's not important. Exposing the secret schemes of the Librul Democrats who Voted against the War resolution of Our Leader is priority #1. Johan In Burien pretty much summed it up in the comments section:
    The war was a mistake. A tragic mistake. Jim McDermott and others did their best to stop the worst foreign policy blunder in our nations history. For some reason you are still vilifying those who sought to oppose the war...There was a time, Dori, when you prided yourself on not being a ideologue: it's time to embrace that spirit again and stop seeing the Iraq war as anything other than a disaster. Time to take off the rose colored glasses, my friend.
Sorry Johan, those glasses are necessary for any war apologist like Mr. Monson who was suckered into supporting this Iraq Clusterf*ck (yes, the Surge DID NOT WORK. It really is a Clusterf*ck). Unable to understand that Love of Country also requires you to admit that your Country occasionally screws up, Mr.Monson will make a thousand excuses, shift blame or change the subject, or even make jokes about actual combat vets who risked their lives but had enough integrity and honor to know when to say this is wrong. It is the only way to resolve the cognitive dissonance that afflicts Bush true believers.

Monday, March 24, 2008

5 Bloody Years Later

Commander Codpiece said 5 years ago that Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.

So I guess 4000 brave men and women died in minor combat operations?

What is really sad is that neither The Flight Suit in Chief, Shooter, the Wolf or the Little Rummer Boy will ever end up on the Dock in the Hague for war crimes.

War crimes are defined in the statute that established the International Criminal Court, which includes:
  1. Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, such as:

  2. Willful killing, or causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health

  3. Torture or inhumane treatment

  4. Unlawful wanton destruction or appropriation of property

  5. Forcing a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of a hostile power

  6. Depriving a prisoner of war of a fair trial

  7. Unlawful deportation, confinement or transfer

  8. Taking hostages

      Thursday, March 20, 2008

      Spitzer, Clinton, and the Media's figleaf of cover

      In the aftermath of Governor Eliot Spitzer's resignation last week, the Main Stream Media Whores have once again been provided with the fig leaf of cover that allows them to hide their failure to investigate the numerous crimes of the Bush Administration.

      As the master blogger Glen Greenwald writes in Salon:

        In one of the ultimate paradoxes, for American journalists -- whose role in theory is to expose the secrets of the powerful -- secrecy is actually their central religious tenet, especially when it comes to dealing with the most powerful. Protecting, rather than exposing, the secrets of the powerful is the fuel of American journalism. That's how they maintain their access to and good relations with those in power.
      And protecting the Bush and his fellow Republican croneys has been a strain. Any rational, critically thinking, non partisan individual examining this Administrations record would find so many criminal acts, Money Laundering, Illegal wiretapping, Extortion, perjury/obstruction of justice, etc., you would need a score card to keep track of it all (if you have time to spare, TPM Muckraker has such a card).

      The real damage that the Spitzer affair has done is not killing the career of a basically decent Democrat Pol or even the effect it may have on the November elections. Instead, it is the rag of cover that our corporate media can hold up to justify its failure to investigate the above name scandals. It is the same thing that happen in the hot 90's, but to a different effect against Bad Bill Clinton, not a failure to investigate, but the justification for a witch hunt camouflaged as a serious investigation.

      Think what would have happen if Big Dog had realized how badly the Rethugs wanted to get him and chose not to have an affair with Ms. Lewinsky. Kenneth "Porno" Starr would have had nothing to show after burning thru 70 million tax payer dollars. Delay, Gingrich, Hyde and all the other criminals would have no justification for impeachment, hell if they tried it they all would have been out on their ass in the 2000 election. And the media whores who dumped journalist ethics would have had a hell of a lot of explaining to do about why they spent ten years pursuing a story they should have known was Bullsh-t.

      Wednesday, January 30, 2008

      David Brooks Bogus BS

      When I read an opinion piece in our local paper that was written by a conservative columnist my reaction is usually the following: Do they really believe this Bull Sh-t or are they just printing it because it’s their job to shill for big bidness?

      Take for example the following by David Brooks concerning the subprime mortgage disaster:

        Mortgage crisis analysis unpopular, true
        Published: January 27th, 2008 01:00 AM

        There is roughly a 100 percent chance that we’re going to spend much of this year talking about the subprime mortgage crisis… The only question is which narrative is going to prevail, the Greed Narrative or the Ecology Narrative.

        The morality of the Greed Narrative is straightforward. A small number of predators destabilize the economy and reap big bonuses… Government should step in and control the malefactors of great wealth
        When a new instrument enters the market, it takes a while before people understand and institutionalize it. Whether the product is high-yield bonds or mortgage-backed securities….

        In the first stage of this adolescence, investors look around and see everybody else making money off some new instrument… Individual bankers have a special incentive to get in on the ride because their yearly bonus is determined by how they do in the short term.

        Then there’s a moment when people realize how stupid they have been. They’ve bought a pile of subprime mortgages without really knowing what they’ve purchased… The cycle of overconfidence becomes a cycle of underconfidence because nobody knows who is holding worthless paper.

        Then, finally, maturity sets in. Those who have lost great gobs of money get fired. People still find the new product useful, but within parameters and with greater safeguards.
      Now this is from a gentleman who supposedly is not a hardcore conservative (he allegedly supports same sex marriage). And yet he obviously does not read the blog Crooks and Liars.

      From the UK Guardian:

        FBI investigates sub-prime crisis
        Graeme Wearden, Wednesday January 30 2008

        Fourteen companies, including some of the world's largest banks, are being investigated over possible accounting fraud, improperly securing loans and insider trading during the sub-prime mortgage scandal.

        The FBI said yesterday that it had opened criminal investigations into improper lending in the American housing market. Neil Power, head of the FBI's economic crimes unit, told journalists that the investigation includes the companies that securitised the loans and investment banks that bought those products, as well as the developers and sub-prime lenders.

        "We're looking at the accounting fraud that goes through the securitisation of these loans," said Power.
      Yeah, just a case of the stupid unedjimicated citizens buying things they did not understand. But fraud? No. I am shocked. Shocked!

      No, not really that shocked. Collective amnesia is a hall mark of Movement Conservatism, whether it is the S&L debacle of the 80's or the Ear Mark Excess of the last 7 years.

      Water carriers like Brooks the buffoon figure that if they print this fertilizer often enough, Mr. John Q Public will forget about how he has been royally screwed by this Administration. They need John Q to pay no attention to complex matters like economics (Johnnie Mack does not understand it) and concentrate on the real issues: Gay Marriage Illegal Immigrant Secular Humanistic Terrorist.

      Friday, January 18, 2008

      The Presidential Election of 2008 and Why Should We Care?

      The Commander's politics may be hard to codify from reading this blog, I am left of Center on most issues, but I am still a capitalist and I believe in personal responsibility (which is why I fell for the Regan Revolution of the 1980's. I believed his bullsh-t about the evils of "Big Government").

      I am a science groupie (I lack the smarts to be a real scientist) yet still follow the practices of my religion (Judaism) while not really believing in (G-D). I worship life and stubbornly insist it has meaning (because it can not be replaced), but I will not interfere if someone wants to engage in assisted suicide or abortion; because I am against any form of control that is done "for your own good".

      Above all I am a free thinker. I will not waste my time on something that violates the laws of motion, gravity, thermodynamics, etc. (refusal to accept nonsense such as ESP, Magic or creationism is not being closed minded. It is an acceptance of natural law).

      All right to the point, why is this particular election so damned important. For me, it has to do with the 50 or so years of existence I have and whether they will be peaceful or harsh. The ultimate authority of this Schizophrenic Land of the Free is the Supreme Court, and if any of my progressive friends are taking notice, we are one Court Seat Away from being royally screwed.

      With the retirement of Swing Vote Sandy, the recent appointments of Strip Search Sam and Johnny the Robber, and the most certain retirements of the remaining Liberals on the Court, our next President will decide who has the Majority for the next 20 or 30 years.

      And it does not matter what laws or even Amendments to the Constitution are passed in the next 50 years. The Supremos of Old and New have shown that they are quite capable of ignoring this document, precedent and logic be damned.

      The Iraq idiocy, recession, medical care, they are important in the short term. But those of us who grew up in the last 50 years under the Warren Court have seen the erosion of those rights we once thought were a given. The Commander does not want to spend his remaining years worried if what he reads, says or even thinks can get him arrested.

      Thursday, January 10, 2008

      Hillary Clinton and the Main Streaming of Misogyny

      Apparently opinion polls about the "Bitch" losing to the New Kid on the block in the New Hampshire Primary were a bit exaggerated.

      Much has been made about Senator Clinton's emotional moment during a Q&A in the “The Granite State”. I think the truth can be found about one month earlier.

      The Commander came across the following commentary on the Newhouse News Service website in December.

        Hillary Hatred Finds Its Misogynistic Voice
        c.2007 Newhouse News Service

        WASHINGTON — In the coming months, America will decide whether to elect its first female president. And amid a techno-media landscape where the wall between private vitriol and public debate has been reduced to rubble, Sen. Hillary Clinton is facing an onslaught of open misogynistic expression.

        Step lightly through that thickly settled province of the Web you could call anti-Hillaryland and you are soon knee-deep in "bitch," "slut," "skank," "whore" and, ultimately, what may be the most toxic four-letter word in the English language.
      Calling the crap that Senator Clinton has been subjected to "open misogynistic expression" is like saying that Barry Bonds is being investigated because he took some aspirin. The hatred of Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton is like a living thing, a festering wound in the soul of America that opened up over 30 years ago with the start of the modern feminist movement.

      Susan Faludi's excellent book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women details the ongoing effort by the right to destroy the economic and social gains made by women such as Senator Clinton with the same techniques they used to destroy the civil rights of African Americans. It was first published 15 years ago, and it is a text book example of the reason Hillary Bashing is alive an well in 2008.

      In The Huffington Post Erica Jong's excellent posting Seeing Sexism shows the difficulty men and even women have in understanding what Ms. Faludi meant by the term backlash:
        Seeing Sexism
        By Erica Jong
        Posted January 10, 2008 12:55 PM (EST)

        It's not easy to see sexism. It's such a part of our lives it seems invisible. It's in us and outside us. We want not to believe in it---until something---like men making fun of Hillary Clinton, like women making fun of Hillary Clinton---stirs it up. And then something inside our heads shouts: "THERE IT IS AGAIN! I thought--I truly hoped we were past this."

        ...So now we have the cool dudes saying Hillary is dead, the fall of the house of Clinton is here, baby-boomers are so over...youth is roaring again, hope is the watchword, Obama has a feminist wife...And the cool chicks echo it: Hillary is over, we have our rights, we have the pill...we have the vote.
        Let's be honest here. We don't know how a female President would act. But we could look around...we could look at Germany, Ireland, England, Pakistan, India...We could ask why the USA, out of all the so-called "civilized" countries, is so damned afraid of a woman leader (emphasis mine).
      Yeah we could ask, but could we deal with the answer? Could we as a nation finally have the courage to admit that we are afraid to hand over the power of the State to the 50% of the population we treat like frail children? Can we admit the truth, get over the fear. Can we grow up and start acting like adults?