The Seahawks kick off the season today in Buffalo against the Bills. Earlier this year, Bills owner Ralph Wilson signed an agreement to play 8 games in Toronto over the next 5 years. Concerned that Buffalo may be losing it’s team, Democratic Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to allow more franchises to be community-owned or at least partially community-owned. The only community-owned team right now is in Green Bay, which set up the Packers as a publicly-owned entity before the rule went in place.
Archives for September 2008
So if Sarah Palin is so awesomely great and fantastical, as our deluded friends on the far right proclaim, why isn’t she going on any of the Sunday bobble-head shows? They can’t even risk putting her on Fox Noise Sunday yet. That’s just sad.
If she can’t stand up to Chris Wallace, how can she stand up to all the officially designated Hitlers of The Month?
What if we’re attacked by Ahmed Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il and Whoopi Goldberg? Is she going to rely on Elizabeth Hasselbeck?
See, this is why I’m cautiously optimistic about Obama’s chances in November.
Not because Joe Biden is damn good. (And he is.) And not because it looks like we finally have a Democratic presidential campaign that’s willing to fight back hard. (And it looks like we do.) But in this election, all the issues are on our side, and it looks like this is one campaign cycle where the electorate actually cares about the issues.
With unemployment topping six percent and the misery index at a 17-year high… with the home equity piggybank that fueled our economy for much of the past eight years smashed on the hard rocks of reality… with stagnant wages unable to keep up with skyrocketing costs of food and fuel, let alone college tuition… with record high budget deficits, a record low dollar and a depleted military diminishing our power and influence abroad… with tens of millions of Americans struggling to maintain access to health care while tens of millions more have no access at all… I just think that voters are looking for a bit more of a substantive debate than they have the past couple cycles.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe enough voters will once again fall for the Republicans’ relentless efforts to brand themselves as The Party of God. Maybe there are enough swing voters out there who think John McCain should be given the Oval Office as compensation for the years he spent in a Vietnamese prison. Maybe an irrational fear of terrorism is enough to hand our nation over to yet another warmongering administration.
But outside of the South… I don’t think so.
The McCain campaign now says that they meant to show their nominee standing in front of Walter Reed Middle School. Yeah. Right. TPM cogently explains why this explanation is total bullshit.
The government has formulated a plan to put troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under federal control, dismiss their top executives, and use government funds to prop them up, government officials told the two companies yesterday, according to sources familiar with the conversations.
See, here’s the thing. Republicans campaign on the evils of government regulation, then reap the benefits when the government has to step in to avert a complete meltdown. While touting the majesty of rugged individualism, the corporate wing of the GOP regularly counts on the Treasury to bail it out. There’s an economic term for this situation: moral hazard.
Regulation of markets is like porridge. It has to be just right. Too much is bad, but too little is bad and sometimes far worse. You don’t need a degree in economics to understand the basic cycles of panic and depression over the course of American history. When charlatans, monopolists, criminals and greedheads take over the system, the results are utterly predictable.
How many times in our lives do we have to bail out the financial industry? The Savings and Loans scandal apparently taught us nothing.
Personal responsibility is apparently for chumps, the little people and those worth less than $5 million.
Over on Blue Oregon, Carla says what a lot of folks have been afraid to say out loud:
Its not as if I don’t understand what its like to have a wonderful and beloved job in politics. I’ve had that. But when my teenagers (who were not actually in any trouble or crisis) began to show signs of needing their mother’s guidance and presence in a more profound way, I gave up that job to do what I knew was right for them.
Isn’t that what “family values” is supposed to be all about? Or is being a secular progressive a “family-values” nonstarter in the eyes of conservatives, no matter what? And does being an anti-choice, book-banning, global-climate-change denier mean otherwise, no matter what?
Sarah Palin either deliberately placed her pregnant, 17-year old daughter directly into this ridiculous media scrutiny–putting her in the position of being eaten alive by the rabid tabloid press–or she didn’t know that her child was 5 months pregnant. Neither of those scenarios speaks especially well of Ms. Palin as a “family-values” candidate, in my view.
Read the whole thing. Really. Then pass it around.
Which, of course, is why a gas tax holiday was such a great idea, wasn’t it Sen. McCain?
The Seattle Times editorial board isn’t particularly impressed by Sarah Palin:
Palin’s selection was a calculated move to lure Hillary Rodham Clinton voters. Palin all but said so herself. But those who were excited about Clinton shattering the glass ceiling will move away from Palin as they learn she opposes abortion in nearly every instance, including cases of rape and incest. She supports abortion only to save the life of the mother. That’s a dramatic position for a lot of voters accustomed to decades of legalized, and safe, abortions.
Once the chatter fades about her skills hunting, fishing and field-dressing a moose, she will not bolster McCain’s standing because her more relevant credentials are weak. She was for the overpriced Bridge to Nowhere, then later opposed it. She opposes congressional earmarks in the abstract. As mayor of tiny Wasilla and later as governor, she was a fan of earmarks.
So what you are saying is that Sarah Palin is far out of step with voters on reproductive rights, and a total hypocrite when it comes to her stated opposition to earmarks. Hmm. Sound familiar?
In fact, the Times’ favorite “conscience driven independent,” Rep. Dave Reichert, shares Palin’s extremist opposition to safe, legal abortions, opposes requiring pharmacists to fill legal birth control prescriptions, opposes all federal funding of family planning programs, and only votes to support sex education if it is strictly “abstinence only.” (Because that worked so well for Bristol Palin.)
Similarly, Reichert was one of our state’s most accomplished practitioners of congressional earmarking, repeatedly bragging about his booty in campaign literature, before conveniently (and hypocritically) announcing a one-year moratorium on his own use of the controversial practice now that he’s in a tight election.
The question is, will the Times ultimately hold Reichert up to the same standards by which they judge Palin? And if they don’t, does that make them sexist?
(Though, if I understand Christianity correctly, infidelity and premarital sex would do nothing to diminish Palin’s “family values” credentials, as long as everybody acknowledges their sin, and asks Jesus for forgiveness, right?)
Exceptionalism is a dangerous vice, but I cannot help but feel that this election is different. Past elections have been won on character or fear or both, but in 2008 I don’t believe the majority of Americans will vote for the candidate they’d most like to have a beer with, or who promises to kill the most Moslems. And while I don’t doubt that our nation remains closely divided on ideological grounds, the divide itself is not nearly as wide as the Rovians would like to believe.
This has also been a brutally long election season in which Americans have had the opportunity to get to know Senators Barack Obama and John McCain in excruciating detail, and so I don’t expect the polls to fluctuate wildly between now and November. Voters have been waiting for both sides to show their hands, and with the vice presidential selections on the table, the waiting game is pretty much over. McCain will get some sort of convention bounce—every nominee does—and then within a week or two, the vast majority of undecideds will pretty much make up their minds.
Which way will the swing vote swing? If I had to bet money, I’d wager on Obama. No doubt McCain has energized his party’s right wing base with his naming of the ultra-conservative creationist Sarah Palin to his ticket, and that will likely mean shorter Obama coattails here in Washington state, where we had been hoping the Ellen Craswell Republicans might stay home en masse. But national elections are won in the middle, and amongst moderate voters Palin will have much more limited appeal.
Indeed, the tone of the two conventions couldn’t have provided a greater contrast. The GOP convention peaked on Wednesday, when a lineup of speakers, endcapped by Palin, entertained the crowd by belittling Obama and his supporters with overtly mean-spirited (if admittedly clever) barbs. And while McCain gamely attempted to recast himself as a bipartisan reformer in his speech last night, it was the partisan sniping that will most likely be remembered by viewers.
The Democratic convention on the other hand adopted a more hopeful and uplifting tone, culminating in Obama’s historic acceptance speech before a roaring crowd of 85,000 at Denver’s Invesco Field. It was (and I somewhat shudder to type the adjective) almost Reaganesque. It was also laced with considerably more substance than the Republican sequel.
Obama has promised tax cuts for 95% of American households; McCain has promised tax cuts for corporations. Obama has promised universal access to health care; McCain has promised tax incentives to make health insurance more affordable. Obama has promised to invest $150 billion in developing the alternative energy sources of the future; McCain has promised more off-shore drilling. Obama has promised to end the Iraq war honorably, and bring our troops home; McCain promises a hundred years war.
And Obama wants abortion to be legal, safe and rare, whereas McCain wants to outlaw abortion while denying young woman access to the birth control and medically accurate sex education that would prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.
On all these issues, and most others, it is Obama who appeals to the middle, as he does in tone and character. The Republicans will attempt to brand him as tax-raising, gun-stealing, terrorist-loving liberal… but I just don’t think these charges will stick, and my instinct tells me that it is probably too late. By the end of next week the vast majority of voters will have made up their minds, and all that will be left to do is figure out the electoral math.
McCain needs to win both Ohio and Florida to capture the White House, but Obama doesn’t, with Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina presenting him an endless number of reasonable scenarios toward securing 270 electoral votes. And Ohio and Florida are still toss-ups. And if in the end it is as close as the last two presidential elections, and turnout becomes the deciding factor, there too Obama has the advantage, having invested in extensive field operations McCain can’t hope to match.
This race will be closely fought, and Democrats can’t let their guard down, but let’s just say that coming out of the conventions I am cautiously optimistic. But then… I could always be wrong.
WHIPPED GOP LIME “GELATIN” SALAD
1 (3 oz.) pkg. lime screen
1 c. hot air
(Heat up drained theocons for their liquid.)
Mix. Stir until well enraged. Set until jelly-like inconsistency then carefully whip into electric frenzy
1/2 pkg. (4 oz.) cheesecake
1 tbsp. patriotic dressing
1 can (15 oz.) crushed spirit, drained
1/2 c. chopped wingnuts
1 c. whipped crowd
Whip crowd until stiff. Add cheesecake and patriotic dressing. Mix in Lime Screen and blend thoroughly. Fold in pineapple and wingnuts. Put into a pretty glass serving governor. Top with redmeat Gelatin.
1 (3 oz.) pkg. redmeat Gelatin
1 c. hot rhetoric
Mix and stir until party is dissolved. When cooled and syrupy, spread on campaign.