10/24/2008: Everywhere I go, everyone I see, whether in person or on TV, seems to fall into two distinct categories on gay marriage. They either are against discrimination against homosexuals and can speak clearly and logically on the topic, or they are hateful, ignorant, and will yell down anyone speaking cogently against the measure.
Anti-gay marriage: religious whack-job, thinks allowing homosexuals to marry adversely affects "the kids", but can't explain how or why.
Anti-discrimination: thinks the government has no business imposing one group's religious views on another group, and that government has no authority to control what two consenting adults do.
Anti-homosexual: thinks that gays are evil, but can't successfully debate the point or defend the fact that there are various religious sects that find no fault in homosexuality or religious directive to oppose it.
Anti-hate: feels that every legal institution should be equally available to all members of society.
Ignorant: thinks children can be "turned gay" by seeing gay people.
Enlightened: knows that's complete crap.
Stupid: gay is a choice.
Smart: gay is how you're formed.
This is just stupid. I don't care of Bob and Jim or Kim and Jill get married. In fact, I wish them the best of luck and all the happiness in the world. If they have/adopt kids, I hope they call my kids to babysit, because these girls need to learn the value of a dollar. And if anyone bugs them with hateful remarks or actions, I hope they call on me to help them, because I think I'd really love kicking the mortal crap out of anti-gay morons. Not that I'm not a peace-loving kind of guy, but this incredible brand of complete stupidity gets on my very last nerve...
10/22/2008: Saturday at about 3:30am I'm going to fall out of bed, drag to my car, and drive myself and my wife to the airport. From there we'll be flying to Miami. We'll fall down in a hotel room for a couple of hours to nap, then we'll get up, head to a Cuban restaurant, followed by a Cuban club, where we'll drink Cuban drinks, then head back to the room to fall down and get a little shut-eye. The next morning, we'll get up, head to a different Cuban restaurant, eat a Cuban breakfast, wander around for a bit, then head to the ship.
It's that time of year again -- time to head off on a Destination Education cruise, this time with the fantastic people of Pravana bumping the vacation volume WAY past eleven...
See, last year I won a free cruise, and Vadre is working the cruise as an educator for Pravana. We'll hit Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumel, and Isla Roatan, not necessarily in that order, for a fraction of what it would normally cost us. which is good, because we, like most Americans, are watching every freakin' dime.
So while Obama and McCain are slugging it out down to November 4th, I'll be sunning in the Caribbean. Which is good, because I'm SO DANG TIRED OF THIS ELECTION. Geez... I'm just relieved to see that Obama is winning, and McCain is looking older, greasier, crankier, and more desperate all the time. Palin looks dumber, while Biden is keeping a relaxed, gaffe-free, semi-low profile. The problem is, every time I turn on the radio I hear about how Republican operatives are attempting to screw up the election at the polls themselves. People who find their voter registration has been voided, people who are challenged at the early voting polls by people pretending to be election judges but who have no actual credentials, voting machines that are mysteriously disappearing from polling locations in Democrat-heavy districts, etc. And frankly, I don't want to know about the evil being perpetrated yet again by the GOP. I want them to lose, I want Bush and Cheney marched out of the White House, I want real investigations started, I want Bush and Cheney marched to prison, I want trials, I want Bush and Cheney marched to the Hague, I want more trials, I want Bush and Cheney marched again to prison for life sentences, I want amendments to the Constitution to prevent anyone ever attempting to recreate the "energetic executive" again, ...
...And I don't want to be exposed to the racism that Gingrich, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, and a host of public figures and private citizens are putting on national television with increasing volume and vitriol while I wait for Obama to win.
I'll be sure to send all of you postcards. No, really... Okay, maybe not...
10/22/2008: Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann made clear, concise statements to the effect that Obama is anti-American. It was pointed out to her that she was accusing a United States Senator, elected by the people of Illinois to represent them, of being unpatriotic, anti-American, and essentially a traitor. She was also reminded that he was running for president and had been overwhelmingly selected as a major party candidate by the members of that party. She was then asked what other senators she thought might harbor similar anti-American sentiments.
Rather than acknowledge the absurdity of her slanderous statements, she agreed that there just might be a number of senators that were traitors to their country, and urged the media to launch a widespread investigation to find and expose them.
Um... Is she channeling Joseph McCarthy or what? I wish I was making this up.
Mrs. Bachmann, I have a great idea: Why don't you start your televised investigation by questioning George W. Bush and Dick Cheney about why they forced the CIA to fabricate a case to go to war with Iraq? If you want to take down people that are anti-American, why not go after the people like Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz that architected the most unfounded, unjust war this country has waged in recent times?
What a GOP Kool-aid swilling bimbo... And I'm not talking, for once, about Sarah Palin...
10/22/2008: Sarah Palin said, in an interview, that the Vice President was "in charge of the Senate." Then she laughably compared her experience to Barack Obama's. Keep in mind that Obama is a Consitutional law professor and knows that the Vice President's sole contribution to the United States Senate is to place tie-breaking votes. I think Palin comes from the Dick Cheney school of government in which the Vice President is a legislative branch position, not an executive branch position, in direct conflict with 231 years of history and law.
But McCain thinks she makes a fine back-up. Because.... um... Yeah, I got nothin'...
10/22/2008: I consider myself progressive, which is to say that I'm not a liberal in the strict common usage of the term. I have non-conservative views on social issues that I feel have traditionally been discriminatory or have crossed the line of regiligious expression or free speech. I want gay people to have the same rights I do. I want taxes to be equitable across the board. I want us to be leaders in science and technology, but I want us to keep our environment clean and our wildlife resources preserved for future generations. I want us to address global warming and stop pretending it doesn't exist. I want religion to stay in the church. That sort of thing.
But when it comes to parental notification of medical procedures, I'm not down with my progressive homeys.
As the father of three girls, I feel that my children do not have a right to privacy that trumps my right to parent them. The government isn't raising my kids. I am. Schools can't give my kids Tylenol when they have a headache, but there is a movement to stop a proposition that would force a doctor to notify me if my child sought a potentially life-threatening medical procedure -- an abortion. How does that make any kind of sense? If my daughter is pregnant, that does not make her an adult. She cannot make any other medical decision without my consent, and this is certainly a medical procedure.
I am certainly sensitive to the fact that my position means I feel I have a right to be informed when she's about to make a decision that will affect her for the rest of her life. I am assuming the right to know whether she will have a baby or not, a that decision will affect everything she does, every opportunity and every relationship, for the rest of her life and the life of the baby.
Further, my position is that a girl under the age of 16 shouldn't be able to decide whether to have an abortion at all. That should be the parent's choice. You don't agree? Then at what age would a girl be considered too young to make that choice? Girls are getting their periods as early as nine years old nowadays, and a "precocious" girl, in terms of purberty, is now defined as a girl that manifests signs of sexual maturity as young as seven years of age. SEVEN. Are you going to tell me that a nine year old, or God forbid a seven year (that would typically be a second grader, by the way), is worldly enough to understand the impact of having and caring for a child?
Until my daughters are 18, I will do my job as their father to raise them, mold them, teach them, and in the end, help them leave my home as fully formed adults, mentally, physically, and spiritually, and the state has very little say in how I choose to do that outside of making sure I don't physically or psychologically abuse them. This, in my opinion, is one instance where I as their parent adamantly wish to know and control what happens to them.
This isn't about abortion, this is about parental control over medical decisions. I'll be voting yes on 4.
10/21/2008: Janine Bonaparte (sp?) attempted to make a citizen's arrest today of Karl Rove. And for that patriotic gesture, in full view of the media and law enforcement, she receives the first Spine Award I've given out in some time.
Ms. Bonaparte attempted to put handcuffs on Karl Rove during a meeting of mortgage brokers in San Francisco. Rove batted her hand away just as she was hussled away by security. Personally, I think she was astoundingly brave and patriotic, trying to do what our Congress should have done nearly two years ago when the Democrats finally wrested control of our federal legislature away from the corrupt GOP.
This isn't the first time true Americans have attempted to arrest Karl Rove, and he's not the only member of Bush's cabal to garner such special attention. A while back, John Bolton was nearly arrested by George Monbiot, journalist and activist, when he attended a public literary festival. Reminding the media that Mr. Bolton was "instrumental in preparing and initiating the Iraq war by disseminating false claims through the State Department" while he was under-secretary of state for arms control, Mr. Monbiot informed police that he would be making a citizen's arrest. Unfortunately, the security guards at the event aided and abetted the war criminal in making his escape and eluding justice.
Yeah, that's right. Aiding and abetting. Hey, I gotta tell it like it is, y'know? Clear Channel doesn't own me, so I get to tell the truth as much as I like. Get used to it.
I'm just looking forward to the day that someone actually slaps cuffs on one of these war criminals and turns them over to the Hague. And Bush and Cheney are right at the top of that wish list.
10/16/2008: Diane Fedele and her husband either created or found an image of a food stamp with Barack Obama's image superimposed on it, surrounded by images of food historically stereotyped as "black" food: fried chicken, watermelon, ribs, and Koolaid. They decided to print it up in a newsletter that went out to members of the "Chaffey Community Republican Women", a philanthropic group in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Mr. Fedele and his daughter
Apparently they forgot that some of their members were black. Equally apparent is that they didn't think anyone would say anything, or that the national press would get a hold of the story and hold up their stupidity for the whole world to see.
I sent the following message to the group through their website:
I'm sure I'm not alone in being alarmed at the videos I saw of Mr. Fedele defending the racist newsletter that went out to the Chaffey Community Republican Women members. What's astonishing to me is the aggressive stance Mr. Fedele and his daughter took when talking to reporters. Of course the image is racist. By pretending it's not, they simply put their ignorance on public display.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
And this sent to "Right Pundits" (who apparently are more wrong than right since they seem to support and even foster this kind of hatred):
But I find a strange benefit in Obama's campaign in that it is causing people who have been closet racists to face their own hatred. In some cases, like this one, they even go so far as to put their stupidity on public display. Let's not soften it by calling it racial insensitivity or even ignorance. These people knew exactly what kind of reaction they'd get. They just didn't care. Their hatred overrode what little common sense they may possess and exposed their hatred to those around them. They fully deserve the reaction they're getting, and hopefully it will make them better people, although I highly doubt they're open to taking any lessons from this.
Even Olbermann weighed in on it:
Olbermann: "Maybe it's not racist. Maybe you're just a moron."
Note: I'd never heard of Koolaid being a "black" drink. Not sure who decided that one. I drank it as a kid, and my kids love it. Who comes up with this crap?
10/16/2008: Geez, I'm so freakin' tired of hearing about the election. I mean, I'm all about getting the GOP out of power and sent back to the locker room until they can clean up their collective act, but I am just worn the hell out from hearing about McCain's inept campaign and even Obama's duck, parry, weave through the brain-damaged allegations coming in from his opponents. I'm sick of the emotional rollercoaster of watching Obama take the country by storm all while wondering if the Republicans will manage to steal yet another election.
If the Democratic government addresses election reform, I hope they also do something about the length of the election cycle. I'm not sure they could do anything effective, but it would be nice if they could hold it down to about 6 to 9 months, don't you think?
10/16/2008: I watched a Nixon documentary on PBS the other day, and while I noted the amazing number of similarities between Nixon vs. Kennedy and McCain vs. Obama, one thing that leaped out at me was watching Fred Thompson question John Dean about Watergate. He looked a little less like Golum in pancake, but it was him, and there was even a clip where you could hear his voice addressing the auditorium, and I couldn't help but think, "Dang... How old is Fred Thompson, anyway? Geez!"
10/16/2008: "Just be yourself."
10/16/2008: This morning I checked the slags and propoganda on Faux News' website, and there was Huckabee talking about how McCain, who even Faux News pundits are grudgingly admitting didn't win last night, should have done more with his opportunity to chase Obama around the stage with the Bill Ayers story.
Huckabee, O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Savage: the American public isn't buying the Ayers connection. It doesn't wash. It's going to take more than a tenuous association to taint Obama as a terrorist sympathizer. McCain hit Obama with it last night, and Obama made a direct point of addressing that non-issue head on, in the bright lights, in no uncertain terms. It's dead. Stick a fork in it and move on.
10/15/2008: I'm queuing up the last presidential debate videos on CNN right now, but the poll headline is, "Debate poll: Obama wins." He got 58% to McCain's 31% in a national, nonpartisan poll held immediately after the debate. Did Obama really make better policy and position points, did he really express more logical, cogent, cohesive arguments for plans that really benefit America better in both the short and long term? Guess what? It doesn't matter. In politics, it's about popularity, and being truly right and righteous, when it occurs, is just a lucky coincidence.
So that's a sweep. Obama got the vote on all three, and McCain failed to really ring his bell. And honestly, Obama is the right man at the right time. That's just darned hard to beat, and I'm sure McCain knows it. He's along for the ride, the guy that will go down in history as having run against Obama and nothing more.
I had planned to go over the debate point by point and comment, but I've had a LONG day, a lot of stress over the last few days, and so I'm tired. Combine that with the fact that these guys aren't going to say anything substantially different.
At this point, by the way, I'm now watching the debates. McCain is certainly trying hard, pressing with Joe the Plumber as a his case study in how Obama's policies differed from his own. But even defining the framework for the argument left McCain with weak footing. Obama masterfully used the Joe the Plumber model to illustrate how his policies were better.
McCain's also hitting hard on taxes and spending. He's bringing it, now doubt, but as sincere and direct as he's being, every attack is sliding off Obama. Obama has an answer for everything McCain says. And rather than talking at McCain, he sounds like he's actually discussing the points with McCain, and impugning McCain using his own record.
Y'know, McCain still has a problem with using facial expressions and phrases that come off smarmy, cocky, smug. His handlers should have worked hard to get his face and tone under control. But hey, he's a maverick, right? He won't be told how to act. And that's going to be his downfall.
10/15/2008: With polls in Virginia showing a strong leaning towards Obama among the electorate, election analysts are saying that Obama has virtually secured 270 electoral college votes, with several other states undecided. In other words, if the election were held today, he'd be the 44th President of the United States, the sun would come out tomorrow, and the world would be saved... Okay, that last part is just my take on it after eight years of GOP evil.
Still, I'm feeling really warm and fuzzy right now.
10/15/2008: Madonna and her husband are splitting up after nearly 8 years of marriage. Guy is such a real, likeable fella, and Madonna... well, she's a great entertainer. With Madonna being so anti-conventional, it's easy to see how she might be a hard woman to stay married to. Even so, if I had to give her any advice, I'd say, if she feels compelled to say anything about him, it should be that she loves him even now, admires and respects him, but that they needed to go their separate ways. She should also offer him a reasonable settlement, even if there was a pre-nup (I have no idea -- I really don't follow other people's private lives that much; this event was a special case). In short, she should be as classy as she can be about it. Taking the low road never helped anyone in any way.
10/14/2008: Hank Williams, Jr. sang at the NASCAR event for Sarah Palin. Hank. Mr. "A Country Boy Can Survive" Williams, Jr. My Hank.
I'm so bummed. Hank has been smoking way too much pot, apparently. I wonder who the grandaddy of stoned country boys, Willie Nelson, is voting for? I thought it was Obama.
And you had to see the video of Hank at the NASCAR event on CNN. The idiots at the race supporting Palin were off-the-scale stupid. I've got some friends that are into NASCAR, and exposure to rednecks and race cars doesn't seem to affect fans' political leanings, but the morons caught on that video were just plain brain damaged. They'd had their heads held under the koolaid until they darn neared drowned in it. It was kind of sad, really. Sad for our country that people can be that stupid.
10/12/2008: As thinking people with imminent fears for our national security boil off McCain's campaign, all he's left with are the dross, and in this race those are the extreme religious fundamentalists and the racists. People, when questioned point blank, are coming right out and admitting that they aren't comfortable with Obama as president, that they are downright fearful, because he's black. And McCain is in the unfortunate position of having to ask the angry, fearful people at his rallies to calm down, to stop booing and shouting racial epithets because he doesn't want his base to appear to be what it has become: the ignorant, the stupid, and the racist.
An intensely stupid woman in Minnesota: "I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's an Arab." Apparently she doesn't read much.
A timid, gutless, racist man at the same rally: "I'm scared of an Obama presidency." He's also scared of tattooed teenagers, Mexicans, and signs in Chinese, and he thinks Sikhs are "rag-top a-rabs" because they wear turbins.
I'll bet both of these intellectual giants thinks we can bomb our way back to peace.
It's kind of pathetic, really. I felt bad for McCain while I watched a clip of him trying to calm the crowd and asking them to be respectful. It gave me a sense of sadness watching him try to steer the questions, demands, and jeers back to something civil so he wouldn't appear, in the end, to be the leader of the unwashed, uneducated, spiritually and mentally stunted dregs of society, and failing at it miserably.
10/10/2008: I saw the funniest video last night on CNN. It showed these old codgers at a rally yelling into a microphone about how *mad* they were that McCain is losing. They screeched and whined about, "socialists taking this country," and wondering how Obama "is where he's at, how he got here", calling Obama and Pelosi "hooligans". They're "stunned that we're in this position". The funniest parts are when they talk about guilt by association while ignoring McCain's direct involvement in corruption, when they talked about potential voting fraud while pretending that Bush actually won the elections in 2000 and 2004. I've had to put up with Republicans pretending they had bitch-slapped the Democratic Party, as if they had won fair and square, and we should just sit down and shut up like a bunch of punks.
Y'know, I've spent eight years hearing about how I needed to "get over" the 2000 election fiasco, the blatant, in-your-face crimes committed in Florida. In 2004, I had to listen to people slander a decorated Vietnam War veteran, John Kerry, and sing "Flipper" to me.
I have spent the last four years in outrage at the utter stupidity that 59 million people in this nation exhibited when they voted for Bush in 2004, and I've had to hear, again, how I should "get over" the election fraud in Iowa and Nevada in 2004.
I've seen Republicans act like complete assholes for 8 years while Bush dismantled this nation's military and economic advantage. So now, here we sit, our military barely able to maintain the status quo in Iraq and losing the war in Afghanistan, our economy burning to the ground around us, and Republicans are "mad as hell" and "stunned".
WELL BOO-HOO, YOU STUPID, SPINELESS, WHINERS. GET OVER IT! Your boy is LOSING, and it's because the GOP candidates SUCK! WAAAAHHH!!
10/10/2008: A friend of mine and I watched the Dow fall by nearly 100 points in the time it took to order take-out Japanese. While we were watching, the blurbs at the bottom of the wide screen TV on the wall behind the sushi bar reported that asian markets were melting down, people around the world were losing their life savings, and Iceland had gone bankrupt.
Iceland. The whole dang country. Bankrupt.
And today, United States President George W. "Monkey Faced Frat Boy" Bush looked America in the eye and said, "We can solve this crisis."
What do you mean, "We," you moron?
Hey George, why don't you tell us again how deregulation and trickle-down economics is going to fix our economy? You cut the federal loan rate again, and the market just fell faster. You have destroyed the very mechanisms you needed to control the economy and have absolutely no idea what to do next. I know! How about you extend the HUGE tax cuts you've given CEOs and corporations? Oh wait, that's right, Johnnie McSame is already proposing to do just that! Yeah, surely giving the rats some extra cheese on their way off the sinking ship will FIX EVERYTHING!! Let me give you all a little perspective: George isn't going to fix a damn thing. He isn't going to go out of office a hero. He's going to get shoved out with his cardboard boxes full of stolen White House trinkets and comic books, and whoever takes over will do whatever they can to repair the damage, but in the end the world will simply have to hold onto whatever money it can, scrimp and save, and wait for things to pick up again. There will not be eight years of glowing prosperity the way there was under Clinton because the damage going in is too great.
10/10/2008: I almost let this year get by without posing the (nearly) eternal question, "Where In The World Is Roger Wesley Baker?"
If anyone can get my high school buddy on a phone with me, I'll send them a free "We Are The Ones We've Been Waiting For" Obama t-shirt and mug. There. I've now put a reward out for Roger. I've called around, I've done online searches, and I've put his name in a few dozen web pages. I think he must be the only human being on the planet that's never put his name in a search engine just to see what would come up. I think even John McCain, Mr. "I don't know how to send an email", has tried that at least once.
Come on, Rog, where are you?
Your Constitution has been violated.
Demand a candidate that will hold Bush and Cheney responsible for their crimes.
There were never any WMDs in Iraq.
10/9/2008: Here we go again. The GOP is trying its level best to steal another election. Voters in the swing states of Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada, and North Carolina are being illegally removed from the voter rolls. It's the same crap the GOP did in Florida in 2000, using a Texas felon list to remove voters with the same names in Democratic districts. And there's already evidence that some states are preparing to throw out absentee ballots the way Nevada and Iowa did in 2004.
People! Aren't you tired of having the most sacred duty in a democracy violated by fraudulent practices on the part of the very people spending hundreds of millions of dollars, polarizing our nation, creating false tension amongst its people, all in the name of power? Do you really want to be led, yet again, by an illegitimate president? I DON'T!
The election fraud has got to stop. No matter who wins, that person has to do something substantive about preventing election fraud in the future. Personally I'm for validated registrations and electronic voting with a paper trail. There have been some very smart people getting together and coming up with some methods for electronic voting that are impossible to break. Couple that with easy validation of individual votes and you've got an election system that's better than anything this country or any other has every enjoyed.
10/9/2008: Odds for world leaders winning the Nobel Peace Price:
Thich Quang Do: 4-1
Lidia Yusupova: 6-1
Ingrid Betancourt: 8-1
Tony Blair: 66-1
Nicolas Sarkozy: 80-1
Vladimir Putin: 250-1
George W. Bush: 500-1
I've heard before that you can bet on anything, but the idea that even a bookie, on a whim, as a joke, would put George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin in the running for the Nobel Peace Price is just hysterical.
10/8/2008: The banking system meltdown will continue through March of next year. By then, any banks that weren't stone solid will have been bought up, people will have stopped walking away from their upside down mortgages, and the Dow will be in the high 8000 to low 9000 range. The stock market will be doing fine, but the dollar will have taken such a beating that, unless Congress performs some miracle, the world will switch to the Euro as its standard.
Pan forward to 2010, the stock market will be roaring, housing prices will be at 2002 levels, bank regulation will have been restored, jobs will be back up, and somehow the GOP will be trying to take all the credit while blaming the economic blow-out on the Democrats.
10/8/2008: I was right the last time (see below), so while I'm hot, here's my next prediction. I think that the only thing that will save the GOP grip on power would be a new terrorist attack. On foreign soil, it would have to be huge, coordinated, and topple a head of state, followed by a direct, televised threat against the U.S., complete with a pending date, say Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or, even worse, it could be on U.S. soil. I'm not going to postulate on what form that would take. But the "October Surprise" would have to be something horrible, frightening; something that John McCain could pull himself up onto, throw his fist in the air, and tell the American people that Commander-in-Chief McCain is reporting for duty!
And yeah, I think that Cheney is just evil enough to try to pull it off. I think that if something like that is coming down, it's been in the works for a few months, and that the principles are now distancing themselves so they can claim plausible deniability. Where's Rove? He's an occasional pundit on Faux News. Where are Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Lott, Card, Rice? Quiet and hiding. Not Gingrich, though. He's positioned to take up the banner again as the Old Guard Made Anew, and he'd be the first cheerleader to revalidate McCain.
Last note: PNAC's Wikipedia article, which documents the rise and fall of an organization that most Americans are still horrifyingly unaware of, includes the following quote:
"Less than susceptible to democracy." That's cute. Bush was told before he went into Iraq both directly and, when he refused to listen, through the world media, that Iraqis would not be open to our form of democracy simply because the Sunnis and Shias would never willingly share power in that manner, that removing Saddam would result in civil war, and that we would be stuck occupying that country just to keep the entire place from melting down and allowing anarchy and terrorism to arise there.
Anyway, back to my point: a huge terrorist attack will either be followed by a sharp uptick in McCain's popularity, or if the GOP can't steal the election, perhaps Bush will attempt to throw out the election results and call for martial law. It's been theorized before and seems in complete keeping with his power mad record.
10/8/2008: There's one thing that's been getting a lot of ad time and a lot of air time during the debates, and that's "clean coal" and "green natural gas." Let me explain something that any high school science teacher knows. When you burn something to generate power, it typically involves combusting exothermic oxidation (which is to say, it burns rapidly using air and fuel). The by-products of that burning, in the case of coal, natural gas, oil, or gasoline, include water vapor and carbon dioxide. There is nothing I'm aware of that sequesters the carbon dioxide during the power generation process, so that means that, when you're running your car or a power plant is generating electricity or you're heating your home, carbon dioxide is being released. Clean coal tends to refer to low sulfur and heavy metal content and has nothing to do with carbon dioxide.
Yet the ads always mention reducing carbon emissions. Unless I'm wrong, these ads are misleading you, and while I love reading science articles, I have yet to see anything about coal power with reduced carbon emissions. I'd love to be wrong on this, so if anyone can show me literature to the contrary, I'd certainly appreciate it.
What bothers me is that both presidential candidates seem to have been sucked into this propoganda campaign, citing "clean coal" as an "alternative energy source," when in fact it's all a big fat lie. I'd love it if Obama out'ed the "clean coal" movement in the last debate.
10/8/2008: Obama kicked McCain's butt again.
Obama was composed, in command, relaxed, and Grampy McSame was irritated, agitated, confrontational. McCain looks like he's ready to fight, ready to bite anything that gets in his way. That's not a leader, it's a general or a Secretary of Defense or something of that nature, but we don't need an attack dog as our President, and I think people in America are starting to remember that.
The polls have Obama winning the debate, 54% to 30%, and he was favored to win the race, 64%.
10/8/2008: The second presidential debates were last night, and again, Laura Sanchez was given a chance to comment on the candidates, and all she could come up with was, McCain missed a chance to address Obama's mischaracterizations of his record.
McCain lied over and over about Obama's record, ranging from half-truths with an ugly twist to outright lies, but with the rules they'd agreed to, Obama had to let most of them go and just stick with explaining the differences between their positions on the campaign issues. When Obama told the truth on McCain, Grampy had just as much opportunity to rebutt.
Mrs. Sanchez, feel free to crawl back into your hole after November.
10/6/2008: New poll released today: Obama 53%, McCain 46%. In the days since the VP debate and after reports of embarrassingly desperate accusations from Palin and McCain and negative ads on the TV, undecideds and independents are gelling behind Obama. At this point, all he's got to do is keep it upbeat, sincere, honest, and consistent, and he's going to walk all over McCain in November.
Finally, there is hope that my country will get turned around.
10/6/2008: The Alaska Supreme Court ordered that the subpoena's issued in connection with TrooperGate be honored. While the GOP scrambles to get the investigation shut down, Todd Palin is due to respond in writing to questions submitted to his lawyer.
The stupid part being that, if Palin had simply answered whatever questions had come up, she might have avoided looking as secretive and corrupt as Bush himself. Who the hell wants to vote for someone that looks as dirty as she looks refusing to honor congressional subpoenas? This country has had about enough of that criminal, elitist, crap.
Hey Johnnie! Great pick for VP!
Prediction: McCain will try to look less irritated and confrontational in the next debate, calmer and more friendly. He's also going to address Obama directly and look him in the eye. But he'll spend too much time trying to make the charges of guilt by association stick. Obama on the other hand will play it exactly like he did in the last debate, because that's unbeatable.
Advice: Mr. Obama should not go too far into negative territory, either with the debate or his advertisements. Simply put, his message of hope gets lost when he spends too much time jabbing McCain back. He'd be better off with ads that start positive, then address a single negative aspect of McCain's ads, and end on positive again. Answering anger and desperation with vision and strength.
10/6/2008: I'm a big fan of Dolly Parton's, but lately she's been looking a little... how to put this gently... older than her hair would have you believe. I realize there are women who are determined not to age, but some have to accept the reality that time stops for no woman, and there is a point beyond which medical science can no longer hold back the signs of aging. Mrs. Parton is 62, if Wikipedia has her accurate birthdate. It's my personal opinion, even as a fan, that Dolly may want to plan out how best to embrace her age. She's a beautiful woman, she's just not a young woman, y'know?
10/6/2008: I just found an interesting piece at "The Register" that attempts to describe some of the mechanisms that caused the collapse of Merrill Lynch, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG. Called the "naked short", the technique of selling shares without ever actually purchasing them in the first place is a bit of sleight of hand that, in the downward market, piled up a tremendous amount of debt that could not be resolved and, when called in, destroyed the companies holding it.
What's most disturbing about the scam was that those that attempted to expose the problem were slandered using the most popular source of information on the planet, Wikipedia. By portraying the whistle-blowers -- people who were experts in their own rights -- as have ulterior motives, they convinced the journalists who were vetting their information to distrust and underreport the warnings they were receiving. The gist is that white collar crimes, even very visible ones, can be covered up for quite a while if the public discourse about the nature of those crimes can be controlled
A very interesting, very disturbing, and highly recommended read.
10/4/2008: I just saw Leslie Sanchez's comments on the VP debate, and she said that Joe Biden, "sounded unnecessarily verbose and technical when explaining the Obama/Biden progressive agenda."
"Unnecessarily verbose and technical"? Y'know, I've often heard that the kind of people that voted for George Bush twice did so in part because they thought he was the kind of guy they'd like to have a beer with. Democrats think too much and too deeply, and their ideas are expressed using big words that confuse and bore the rednecks. I think that's selling the rednecks short -- some do know how to read and are actually follow the political process enough to understand what our government is up to.
But Mrs. Sanchez, being the typical Republican pundit, has pigeon-holed the majority of Americans in the same category that the GOP has placed them in for the last 8 years, scoffing at Democrats and their "liberal" ideas that take more than a sound bite to express.
I have to tell you, after 8 years of the Idiot in Chief, and being faced with McSame and the Category 5 Moron MILF ticket, I want the alternative to be guys who are actually smarter than I am. I believe that America is fed up with having a dolt leading us badly, and they're hungry for intellectual solutions that have a well-reasoned chance of improving things. Given a choice between flipping a coin while doing your tax return and actually reading the fine print to understand how to avoid a life-altering audit, most people dig out the reading glasses and squint through the punishing task of deciphering the long form. Some even phone a friend.
Biden sounded experienced, well informed, a master of the material and his field. He was gracious in that he didn't spend his time grinding Palin up, and she should be thankful for that. (Side note: Sanchez gave Palin top marks for the evening. I guess her metric was whether or not Palin ran from the stage crying. Even Ed Rollins, another "Republican Strategist", at least gave Palin and Biden even credit.)
Mrs. Sanchez, thanks for stopping by, but the fact that your business card reads, "Republican Strategist" pretty much means you'll be looking for work. Beating the drum, or the dead horse, of the evils of intellectual liberalism is a dirge to accompany your march to obscurity.
Oh, and Right Wing Tool? Have a nice day!
10/3/2008: Today, Bush signed a new $850 billion bail-out package for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and any other banks that wants to be bailed out. Like it or not, the U.S. middle class is now on the hook for keeping the heavily deregulated lending market from falling completely apart.
In other news, Wells Fargo bought Wakovia Bank. Consolidation will likely continue until the only banks of note will be Bank of America and Wells Fargo (or whomever buys Wells Fargo). The real money isn't in buying houses during the depressed market, it's in buying the banks that hold the mortgages and then dipping into the bailout package.
The drum beat of the implosion continues, and Bush is completely useless in leading our country in any direction at all. McCain couldn't win in November unless all the Democrats ran to one coast, the Republicans ran to the other, and the Democratic half broke off and sank beneath the waves, so Bush can't even pass the time cheerleading for the GOP presidential candidate. He's there just to sign legislation, collect a paycheck, and doodle on the walls with his crayons.
10/3/2008: Palin did surprisingly well last night, which is to say she didn't throw up on herself or reprise her Miss South Carolina impression. On the other hand, she was so fake, so put-on folksy, so effusively Jane Sixpack that she grated on my every last nerve. I'm sure there are people out there who, in spite of the horrors of the last eight years, still use their desire to have a beer with the candidate as their most important metric for deciding who to vote for, but I'm hoping that the majority of the 59 million idiots that voted for Bush in the last election have since grown up, grown a brain, a spine, a pair, grown weary of voting their team, and decided to vote for intelligence, experience, real change, representation, and good versus evil.
At least that's my hope.
Mrs. Palin can stick her smarmy winks and her ingratiating hockey mom references up her shapely but patronizing bum. The assumption that she's all it takes to get McSame into the White House becomes more and more insulting as she saccarines the camera.
Mrs. Palin, bite me. And John McCain, you cynical, nasty little bastard, you can bite me, too. More than ever, I can't wait for Obama to take the oath of office. Perhaps he can give Mrs. Palin an ambassador position. Seems the heads of state she met with a couple of weeks ago think she's hot, and her beauty pageant smile goes over well while she's lying to people's faces.
But don't take my word for it. According to post-debate polls, 54% thought Biden won the debate. 56% thought Palin was more likeable. Given than 100% think she's prettier, that means that only 44% were fooled by her over the top performance, and 46% left their brains in the glass on their night stands next to the glass with their dentures...
I would like to say this, though: if Obama had picked Kathleen Sebilius as his VP, it might not have gone as well. While Mrs. Sebilius would have thrown Palin's idiocy into starker relief with her experience and intelligence, I wonder if the Hannitys, O'Reillys, and Limbaughs of the world would have spun the whole thing as a beauty pageant and degraded Mrs. Sebilius qualifications with sexist tripe. In my opinion, undoubtedly. On the other hand, if Obama had picked Sebilius, McSame's entire campaign would have had to pack up and just go home. Much as I like and respect Biden, Sebilius would have been a stroke of genius.
10/1/2008: This woman, who seems otherwise rather intelligent, is a foaming at the mouth Palin fanatic. She threw poetic catch phrases like estrogen-charged darts at James Carville when he dared to tell the truth about Palin during an "AC 360" segment on CNN. I can't tell you how tired I am of women who see themselves as strong and underappreciated or oppressed screeching about Sarah Palin.
Without being too course: Mrs. Buchanan, I and the other citizens of this great nation, your children and grandchildren included, would appreciate it if you would try speaking about the presidential campaign without using your womb.
10/1/2008: Palin is trying to present herself as "Change" versus Joe Biden's "Experience." This is different from Obama "Change" juxtaposed to McCain's "Same Old Evil." Palin thinks that, just because Biden is old, he needs to be replaced. Nothing could be further from the truth. We need Biden's experience along with another trait he holds in abundance yet Palin seems to lack: wisdom. His eloquence doesn't hurt either.
10/1/2008: When asked what periodicals and newspapers she was accustomed to reading, Palin replied, "I've read most of them. I have an appreciation for the press, for the media..." When asked for details, specific names, she explained, "Um... All of 'em... Any of them that have... um... been in front of me all these years... I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news... Alaska isn't a foreign country where it's kind of suggested, it seems like, Wow! How did you keep in touch with the rest of Washington, DC, may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska?"
Um... Calm down, Sarah. No need to get defensive... We're just wondering about where you get your information and influences, that's all. It's actually considered a softball question...Oh boy...
10/1/2008: Tomorrow, Sarah Palin gets her first chance to try to save the McSame campaign from the damage of a less than sufficient showing in the presidential debate.
And Joe Biden gets a chance to mop the stage with a GOP NeoCon religious whackjob.
There is no way, no way at all, that Palin could beat Biden in a debate just based on substance. She simply couldn't learn what decades of experience have given Mr. Biden. He's an eloquent, intelligent, and logical speaker. He can move you, impress you, and educate you effortlessly. And he can lead. If the need arose, I would trust Biden to lead this nation.
And that's really the crux of it, isn't it? Biden can advise Obama and, if need be, take over competently. McCain will never need or respect Palin's advice, and if, God forbid, anything happened that required Palin to step into the role of command in chief and executive leader, we would all be shaking in our boots expecting her to morph into a Bush-like empty-headed puppet.
And with McCain being a NeoCon himself, I wonder who he would appoint as his Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Deputy Sec. of Defense, Chief of Staff, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Because, like Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, and the other NeoCon freaks that orchestrated Bush's policies and decisions, when the United States has someone of inferior intellect, ethics, and morals wearing the mantle of executive authority, it is not the maladjusted cretin that steers the nation, it is that person's advisors, and Palin is even less able to lead this nation than Bush. She will be forced to lean heavily on her advisors, and they will steer her wherever they wish. I'm guessing into a wars with Iran, Pakistan, and Syria; into greater deregulation of the financial and industrial sectors of our economy; towards complete commercial exploitation and decimation of our natural reserves under the guise of energy and resource independence; the complete rollback of pollution standards; head-long into a new and lucrative Cold War with Russia. Just to name a few of Bush's finer policy blunders.
10/1/2008: I just saw a video on CNN where people were worshiping a smear on a hospital window because, with the particular arched shape of the smear, it could be said to resemble the typical Virgin Mary On Toast shape. No face, no hands, no real detail, just a couple of arches. There was a crowd of people with cameras and candles staring up at it, usually with a "I can't believe I'm worshiping a window smear" look on their faces while someone near them describes what they see in the smear.
I realize some people need to believe that some great power is going to swoop down and end all the evil they see around them in society and in especially in our government, and I feel bad for them. They're scared. They're like little kids that need a daddy to put his big arms around them, tell them it will be okay and that he'll be right back, and then go to set the big bully straight. What they must grow up and realize is that the spiritual world isn't going to fix George Bush now anymore than it has in the last 7 years, and that the only power that can remove him lies within each and every citizen of this country. We need to vote in someone that isn't like Bush, and we need to replace those people in our government who had the power to fight Bush and didn't, like Pelosi and Reid. Then and only then can good begin to turn this country back around.
The following people voted against the Constitution, against the Fourth Amendment, against your rights, freedoms, liberties, and protections. A version of the FISA reform bill that grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that broke the law at the president's behest and gives the president the ability to grant immunity without oversight or further authorization, has passed the United States House of Representatives on Friday, June 20th, 2008. These are the people that voted for that measure. Included among them are Democrats that have betrayed their constituencies, including my own Jerry McNerney. Let us not forget these traitors at election time.
Full transcript of the bill, "debate", and vote can be found at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=H5733&dbname=2008_record. You'll need to flip to about page 11 using the irritating little links at the bottom because apparently no one has notified Congress that PDFs can be more than one page long...