Archives for September 2008
President Bush says “the man we need is John McCain.” Hell, I betcha he’d say we need Dave Reichert and Dino Rossi too. Remember that on election day… these are the folks President Bush says we need.
Join us at the Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally for an evening of politics under the influence. We begin at 8:00 pm at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E, but some of us will be there early for Dinner and to watch the Republican National Comedy show.
Tonight’s activity is a contest to turn this flow chart into a board game:
Tonight’s theme song could only be Sarah Smile by Hall and Oats:
If you find yourself in the Tri-Cities area this evening, check out McCranium for the local Drinking Liberally. Otherwise, check out the Drinking Liberally web site for dates and times of a chapter near you.
The first thought that crossed my mind when I heard that Sen. John McCain had tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate was that there were at least two Democrats in the Washington state delegation at Invesco Field who were more qualified to be president: King County Executive Ron Sims and Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Palin has been her state’s chief executive for only 18 months… and to call Alaska a “state” is almost too kind. It’s population of 670,000 is the third smallest in the nation, about one tenth that of Washington state, and a little more than one third that of King County. And while both Sims and Gregoire are forced to balance their budgets in sync with a fluctuating economy, Alaska’s oil royalties and reverse income tax force no such tough decisions.
Indeed, for all of Palin’s talk about fiscal conservatism and smaller government, Alaska’s state spending per capita, at $12,833, is by far the highest in the nation. (Compared to only $5,303 in Washington state.) And what do Alaskans get for all that money? According to Governing Magazine, not all that much:
But, you know, Gov. Palin was clearly the most qualified for the job. The most qualified, conservative, pro-life, creationist, Republican woman, that is.
Gov. Gregoire has served twelve years as Attorney General and four years as governor in one of the most prosperous and fastest growing states in the nation, while Executive Sims has served twelve years running a county that is larger than 14 states. Yet local Republicans would have derisively mocked Barack Obama had either been elevated to the national ticket, while Gov. Palin, they tell us, she has the executive and foreign policy experience to lead the most powerful nation on earth. Oh, gimme a break.
Sarah Palin is little more than a governor of a national park, whose petro-dollar based economy is more akin to that of Nigeria or Venezuela than to that of Washington state. And given her well established secessionist leanings, the bulk of her foreign policy experience could only come from her dealings with the other 49 United States.
I don’t doubt that Palin focus groups well, and that she helps McCain enormously with his party’s evangelical base, but to hear our local Republicans defend her candidacy after months of attacking Barack Obama as being too inexperienced, well… if they could be any more cynical, I don’t know how.
I’ve received a couple of angry and/or confused emails recently about the advertising on HA, and have heard tell of a couple more angry emails that haven’t come directly my way. Folks want to know why the hell I’m accepting advertising from Republicans… and why the hell somebody doesn’t “cut me off at the knees” for doing it?
As to the first question, the answer is simple: I need the money, and so far most Democrats haven’t been smart enough to lock up my prime advertising space for themselves. For example, the premium ad space recently bought up by Toby Nixon (who cleverly doesn’t mention the fact that he’s a Republican)…? That sat vacant for a week, heading into the obvious bump in traffic I would get during the Democratic convention. I suppose I could have rejected Toby’s ad out of deference to Rep. Roger Goodman, whom I support in that race, but really, what does that buy me except the expectation that Dems don’t have to buy ads on HA because I’d never sell space to their opponents?
And as to the bizarre suggestion that somebody should “cut me off at the knees” for daring to make a little money on the side… um… cut me off from what? And, um… how?
You gonna fire me from a job I don’t have? Cut off money I’m not getting? Refuse to give me tidbits the dailies refuse to publish? Who exactly do you think has the power or authority to rein me in?
What is it about Democrats, and progressives in general, that make you think that passionate advocates like me should have to work for free, and be responsive to your petty insecurities? You want a tiny bit of control over me? Fund me, goddamn it. You want me to stop taking ads from Republicans? You could start by buying some ads yourself.
But if you think that I can continue making the contribution I make, without the prospect of earning myself a decent white collar wage, you’re out of your minds. I’ve got a November 2008 timeline, after which I need to step back and take stock of where I am and where I am going. So if local Dems care enough about HA to get angry when I take ad money from Republicans, I hope they care enough to help me make this a going concern.
It was with great relief that New Orleanians awoke this morning to find their city largely spared by Hurricane Gustav, but many residents are still struggling to rebuild their lives three years after Hurricane Katrina… a rebuilding effort that has been as hampered by government incompetence and cronyism as the disastrously botched relief effort in the storm’s immediate wake.
As it so happens, today is the third anniversary of my post highlighting former FEMA director Mike Brown’s vast emergency management experience as the Commissioner of Judges and Stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association—a post that Brown himself ultimately blamed for his firing—and it is depressing to note that there is little reason to believe that FEMA is any better prepared to deal with a similar disaster. But then, that’s the sort of government we get when we elect leaders who don’t actually believe in government.
REUTERS — The father of the unborn baby being carried by the 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is God, Palin said Tuesday in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
The unexpected revelation, coming just one day after announcing that Alaska Gov. Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin is about five months pregnant, is intended to knock down criticism of the McCain campaign’s vetting process, while cementing Gov. Palin’s own standing with the Republican Party’s influential evangelical base. “We have been blessed with five wonderful children,” the Palin’s statement said, “And soon we will all be blessed with this miraculous birth.”
“Bristol and God are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and God’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”
An aide to Arthur Culvahouse, the chair of McCain’s vice presidential search committee, has confirmed that the campaign was aware of Bristol Palin’s condition before tapping her mother as a running mate, but considers virgin conception a “private, personal and religious matter” that would not impact Gov. Palin’s ability to carry out her duties.
In other news, the New York Post has found God’s MySpace page, where he describes himself as a “fucking redneck” who “lives to play hockey.” He also claims to be “in a relationship,” but states, “I don’t want kids.”
Which I suppose explains what happened to Jesus.
They aren’t just tear gassing, macing and arresting protesters in Minneapolis Minneapolis/St. Paul, or even dirty, fucking hippy bloggers. They’re arresting credentialed journalists like Amy Goodman.
What are Republicans so afraid of? Everything.
The Stranger’s Brendan Kiley reports first hand for Minneapolis/St. Paul where a police officer dumped a canister of mace on him for daring to flash his media credentials:
… my skin feels like it’s being peeled from my body. Pepper spray: It’s not just crowd control, it’s exfoliation.
A voice behind me said: “Hey! Keep moving!” It was another phalanx of police. Stupidly, I flashed my media credentials and said “You go on without me. I’m just reporting on this.” I felt a cool shower over my head and heard the cop throw the canister on the sidewalk. She dumped the whole damn thing on me.
(She was a lady. I’ve always wanted to be pepper-sprayed by a lady.)
In a couple of seconds, I was a blind, wheezing, snotting, doubled-over wreck of a man, trying to push my bike toward safety while being jabbed in the back with a baton and told to hurry up. I bumped into several small trees along the way.
When the police can brutalize and arrest journalists with impunity, for the simple act of doing their job, democracy ceases to function. This is what fascism looks like folks… but you won’t be watching it on the network TV news, because… well… that’s what fascism looks like too.
“The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.
Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin’s five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
So… um… yeah, I suppose 4-month-old Trig couldn’t be Bristol’s baby, if she was one month pregnant at the time he was born. That is, assuming Bristol really is five months pregnant, as the Palins now claim.
For his part, Barack Obama thinks that bloggers like me should lay off of Bristol Palin:
“Let me be a clear as possible: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people’s families are off limits,” Obama said, “and people’s children are especially off limits.
“This shouldn’t be part of our politics,” he continued, “It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president.
“And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories,” he said. “You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and, you know, teenage children, that shouldn’t be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that’s off limits.”
Yeah, I suppose. But you know, really… the minute her holy roller mother accepted the Republican nomination for Vice President was the minute Bristol Palin’s 17-year-old, unmarried uterus ceased to be a wholly private matter. I don’t doubt that Bristol’s decision to keep her baby is the right one for her and her family (the shotgun wedding, well… not so much), but this whole incident just underscores the failure of the Republican Party’s faith-based approach to reproductive health.
As her mother, I suppose Sarah Palin had every right to attempt to deny her daughter access to birth control or even medically accurate sex education, but if we ever truly want to address our nation’s epidemic of teen pregnancy, we’re crazy to have folks like Sarah Palin controlling our public policy.
(Oh, and by the way, this bullshit meme about the rumor being started by “liberal bloggers” …? A Seattle-based consultant active in Alaska politics tells me that she’s heard this rumor “for months,” so it was well established within Alaska’s chattering class long before McCain tapped Palin as his running mate. So there.)
Some readers may recall the July incident in which the words “white power” were scratched onto a car belonging to a Clark County couple who support Barack Obama for president.
This morning The Columbian did a follow-up story, and since some of HA’s readers chipped in towards a new paint job I wanted to alert readers here.
The Vancouver couple have put Barack Obama bumper stickers all over their car to cover up the racist vandalism until the they can get the 1993 Plymouth Sundance into the shop for a paint job.
As it turns out, the distraction has become quite popular around town. “People holler ‘yay’ and give a thumbs-up,” Karen Wastradowski said.
In the meantime, the bill to clean the vandalism has been picked up by dozens of Clark County residents, who pledged monetary support after reading about it in the newspaper last month.
The car soon will undergo a paint job at Todd’s Auto Body Shop, and the cost of labor will be on the shop.
Proving once again that there are plenty of decent folks out there. If I ever need auto body work you can bet I’ll be contacting that shop.
So thanks to everyone who chipped in, and a special thanks to former Clark County Democratic chair Chris Bassett for setting the fund up and managing it.