30 October 2008
29 October 2008
ms. tucker remembers and i do, too:
A new America — a more just America — rises.
Whether Obama wins or loses, the America in which Fields grew up — preserved as perfect in the amber of her memory — is passing away. The monochromatic America of Christian prayers before football games and New Testament scriptures read in fifth-grade classrooms; the America of all-white juries, an all-white Congress and all-white classrooms; the America of gay men denied security clearances out of fear they could be blackmailed and young pregnant women dying from coat-hanger abortions; the America of George Wallace, Phyllis Schlafly and Anita Bryant — that America recedes before a new tide.
I do not mourn its passing.
Posted by tomitron at 10/29/2008 09:39:00 PM
28 October 2008
andrew was right that the republicans are going to repeat the mistake of the tories in britain, who after a shellacking in 1997, decided that the problem was simply that they hadn't been conservative enough---today:
Reporting from Washington -- The social conservatives and moderates who together boosted the Republican Party to dominance have begun a tense battle over the future of the GOP, with social conservatives already moving to seize control of the party's machinery and some vowing to limit John McCain's influence, even if he wins the presidency.
Posted by tomitron at 10/28/2008 06:07:00 PM
27 October 2008
from andrew sullivan, a conservative, top ten reasons to vote for obama
10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.
9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won't touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain's plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama's. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.
8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain's knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran's nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush's first term and George W.'s.
7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.
6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially compared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.
5. Faith. Obama's fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.
4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.
3. Two words: President Palin.
2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today's Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.
1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excrescence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America's reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.
Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.
Posted by tomitron at 10/27/2008 09:17:00 PM
26 October 2008
Two years ago, a list of the nation’s brainiest cities was put together from Census Bureau reports — that is, cities with the highest percentage of college graduates, which is not the same as smart, of course.
These are vibrant, prosperous places where a knowledge economy and cool things to do after hours attract people from all over the country. Among the top 10, only two of those metro areas — Raleigh, N.C., and Lexington, Ky. — voted Republican in the 2004 presidential election.
This year, all 10 are likely to go Democratic. What’s more, with Colorado, New Hampshire and Virginia now trending blue, Republicans stand to lose the nation’s 10 best-educated states as well.
Posted by tomitron at 10/26/2008 01:29:00 PM
varieties of christians have been squabbling over the church of the holy sepulchre for years, but this is just sad:
The quarrel has erupted into brawls — in 2002, when the Coptic monk moved his chair into the shade and too close to the Ethiopians, a dozen people were hurt in the ensuing melee. And today, the Ethiopians claim the fight could result in the monastery's collapse and even in damage to other parts of the church, one of the holiest sites in Christendom. . . .The feud is only one of a bewildering array of rivalries among churchmen in the Holy Sepulcher, where each group remains on guard against any encroachment onto their turf. Fights have flared over issues such as who is allowed to sweep which steps, and Israeli police occasionally intervene.
Posted by tomitron at 10/26/2008 01:21:00 PM
What are we doing in Afghanistan? A superb new history shows how successive invaders have tried, and failed, to bring order to the country through force.
it's just no use trying to fight with crazy people
Posted by tomitron at 10/26/2008 10:57:00 AM
that's david frum, former speechwriter for bush2 and leading light of the neocons, in today's washington post, giving up on mccain:
Posted by tomitron at 10/26/2008 09:40:00 AM
25 October 2008
“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser, “she does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”
Posted by tomitron at 10/25/2008 04:24:00 PM
be still, my beating heart:
For a political analyst, the normal posture this time of year is much like a baseball umpire's: hunched over, peering carefully as the ball approaches the plate, watching for whether it breaks left or right, whether it's coming in high or low. But, these days, we analysts are more like outfielders, watching in awe as a ball seems on a trajectory to not only clear the fence but very likely land in the upper deck.
Posted by tomitron at 10/25/2008 11:44:00 AM
but i thought that they hated us for our freedoms---
Posted by tomitron at 10/25/2008 09:31:00 AM
23 October 2008
As for Palin, the incarnation of red-meat, know-nothing Christian nationalism, she turns out to be McCain’s single biggest mistake. The Republican Party’s immediate post-election future will be a bloody struggle over Palinism. It’s already started at National Review online, where the growing hysteria of the posts signals that the roof is falling in on conservatism. Everything that worked for forty years has suddenly not just stopped working, it has become self-defeating. Republican candidates, strategists, and pundits are like witchdoctors who keep repeating the old incantations over and over, their voices rising in furious shock, to no effect. That’s the sound of an era ending.
Posted by tomitron at 10/23/2008 08:55:00 PM
from david sedaris:
Posted by tomitron at 10/23/2008 07:59:00 PM
Could Georgia Flip to the Democrats?
According to a new Democracy Corps poll in Georgia, Sen. John McCain leads Sen. Barack Obama by just two points, 46% to 44%.
In the U.S. Senate race, Sen. Saxby Chambliss holds a four point edge over challenger Jim Martin (D), 48% to 44%.
"The Republican brand is tarnished in Georgia and a national wave threatens to carry the state to Democratic shores. Obama and Martin still trail and must make gains to win here, but the fact that Georgia is even close speaks to powerful political currents across the country."
Meanwhile, Marc Ambinder notes the early voting numbers look very good for Democrats.
Posted by tomitron at 10/23/2008 07:55:00 PM
22 October 2008
from cousin greg---
With all the emails flying around lately about presidential candidates, I thought I’d throw in my two cents as well. I know no one really cares what I think (at least probably shouldn’t anyway), and your minds are probably made up (as is mine) but just in case anyone’s interested, I’ll say my bit once and then sit down.
I should begin with “full disclosure” of my basic point of view. I’m a registered independent, but I don’t think I’ve ever voted Republican. It’s not that I’m one of those who thinks Republicans are always wrong and Democrats are always right. Rather, I think Republicans are always wrong and Democrats are almost always wrong. In principle, I hold with those who, in 2000, insisted there was no essential difference between Bush and Gore (though the last 8 years have provided a stark example of how big a difference a small difference can make, given the right circumstances). If I had to label myself, the label would be democratic socialist. [Don’t gasp – remember: Socialism, capitalism, communism, etc. are economic systems. Democracy, autocracy, monarchy, etc. are forms of government. One economic system is not necessarily tied to a particular form of government – they can be freely mixed and matched – with no system necessarily purely one “ism” or the other. And none of the above has any exclusive claim on religion, or vice-versa.] I believe that society should tend to the basic needs of all its members before protecting the riches of the wealthy, and that it should not allow its environment to be degraded for the benefit of business, since everything that fuels “the economy” ultimately comes from “the environment”, and since, to one degree or another, individuals’ health depends on it. I believe that government should not influence individuals’ choices with regard to lifestyle any more than necessary for the functioning of society. Now that my bias has been disclosed, I’ll focus on why it is that I support Democrats rather than Republicans, paying less attention to the particular individuals involved for now.
Both Democrats and Republicans hold that most property should be privately owned, and that most human needs should be met by private industry, with the differences between the parties being a matter of degree and of how they measure what they regard as freedom (more on this later). Although I strongly believe in free and fair enterprise and in the right to own reasonable property for one’s own use, my view of what should constitute “the commons” is much larger than that of either party. My view of the commons stems from the idea that humans are a part of the earth. This statement standing alone may sound a bit airy at first, but with just a moment’s reflection, it’s easy to see that the concept is an integral part, in some form and degree or another, of most varieties of both scientific and religious thought. This recognition, taken to its logical philosophical conclusion, might require an extensive overhaul of the whole concept of ownership (how can you “own” something when you have no control whatsoever over either its origin or its ultimate fate?), but that’s another discussion. For now, it just explains why I believe that no person should deprive another of essential needs for the sake of profit, and that no person is entitled to a larger share of resources than another until essential needs have been met. But what is essential?
Obviously, from a biological standpoint, the essentials are air, water, food and (in most climates) some degree of clothing and/or shelter. Clearly, there was a time when the average human, or at least a member of the average human family, could provide those things with nothing more than sticks or rocks as tools. Even a couple hundred years ago, some people could provide for themselves with little more than a knife and rope and the clothes on their backs as a head start. Today such persons are rare, to say the least. With the ceding of much responsibility for society’s needs to an ever smaller set of technologically educated persons, the circle of things that are essential has expanded. In some locales, this means a change from growing and hunting one’s own food to buying it. In today’s U.S., it means this and a lot more. For better or for worse, most Americans’ survival (literally) depends not only on food and water, but on electricity (or other remotely supplied energy) for heat and light; transportation; communication; police protection; and health care. Even if one would like to opt out of the current situation, doing so would require an enormous sum of money to begin with. One can’t simply walk into the woods and stake a claim anymore. With this in mind, I believe the afore-mentioned services (food, water, energy, emergency services, basic transportation and communication, and health care) should be provided as commonwealth. This is not to say that everyone is entitled to satellite TV and a car free of charge, or indeed that any of it would be “free”. After all, early man did not sit around and wait for cave service; he had to go get food, water, fire for himself. But it is to say that these things should be provided first, without regard to whether or not someone can profit from the provision of them, and that no one can prevent, for sake of profit, someone else from honestly acquiring those essentials. While many people would agree with this idea, such deprivation happens all the time with the permission, if not encouragement, of government. Remember back to last year, when American pharmaceutical companies tried to prevent, through the WTO, African governments from developing generic anti-AIDS drugs. These corporations clearly believed that their patent rights were more important than the lives of millions of Africans who would certainly die without the drugs, and who could in no way afford to pay for them. And consider the actions of seed companies in recent years. The development of genetically modified plants has led to the patenting (or attempted patenting) of many strains of plants. This has led to situations in which farmers (sometimes subsistence farmers) have been sued by manufacturers for saving seed, a practice which (by definition!) is as old as agriculture itself, or even for having (often unwanted) “patented” plants in their fields, the pollen having been delivered by wind.
In summary of this topic, I think it is not an exaggeration to say that the core of today’s Republican party believes that all human needs except for air (so far) should be provided by for-profit businesses, and those who cannot afford them should do without. It is willing to provide scant assistance only when the situation is such that so few people can afford the service in question that the survival of the providing businesses is in question. The Democrats, by (slight) contrast, are more willing to provide more than desperation-level assistance, although it is still not clear that the concern is for the welfare of the people rather than the “providers”. An example is the case of health care. When the Clinton administration made attempts (spearheaded by the then-hated Hillary) to expand health care coverage in the early 90s, the Republican response was a simple NO. Employer-provided health insurance was a nice idea, they said, and it’d be great if everyone could have it. If your job doesn’t provide it, then get a better job. Now, with fewer and fewer full-time employees covered by health insurance, both parties are offering “solutions”. While the Democratic plan is a bit more inclusive and extensive, I think they’re both barking up the wrong tree. Both view the problem as inability to afford insurance, whereas I view it as the necessity of insurance to begin with. Health care can be provided without health insurance – several countries do it at lower per capita cost than the U.S. – but neither party will go there. While coverage may be expanded by these plans, no plan will go forward unless insurance companies benefit first. So, lame as their position is, I’ll side with the Democrats.
There are a couple of economic myths, usually held as gospel by Republicans and rarely argued with by Democrats, that I’d like to debunk. One is the idea that “the market” always has the best solution – that private industry can always do something better, faster and cheaper than government. This may often be true as long as someone can profit from a situation, but opportunity to profit does not always match need. Health care and housing provide two current examples: There are many situations in which there are great needs, but no profitability, so what happens? Needs go unmet. And, to boot, the gospel is not always adhered to by those who preach it. An example of this is digital TV. I don’t own a TV, so I’m not too up on this one, but it appears digital TV has been around for a few years, and simply hasn’t caught on. Consumers were decidedly uninterested. So what happens? Government forces it on us by doing away with analog broadcasts. Why not let “the market” decide? (I guess TV is something too important to take chances with, unlike housing or health care.)
A second myth is so-called supply-side economics. The trickle-down theory. The idea that “a rising tide lifts all boats”. Cut taxes for the wealthy and they’ll invest it to the benefit of us all. It is astonishing to me how many people across the political spectrum still swallow this bogus theory when there is so much evidence (both current and historical) to the contrary. From the 1880s to the 1920s, such policies brought tremendous increases in stock values, greatly expanded use of credit, an explosion of wealth in the financial industry…and the Great Depression. In recent times, this theory was implemented by Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. and only lightly tampered with by the Clinton administration. In chapter 3 of Wealth and Democracy, Kevin Phillips tracks income trends for the period from the early eighties to the late nineties. During this period, average wealth (in inflation-adjusted dollars) of those in the top 1% of earners approximately doubled. For those in the top 20% it increased by an average of about 50%. Those in the 20th – 80th percentiles had slight losses on average, and those in the bottom 20% lost about 9%. (The average wealth of the thirty richest people in the country increased by a factor of more than ten during this period.) So much for the rising tide. The “New Deal” in the 1930s brought with it, among other things, a top marginal tax rate of 90%, but somehow the period from then through the 1950s (presided over largely by Democrats, incidentally) brought the emergence of the modern middle class, and the largest economic expansion the country has ever seen. I believe very high taxes for the wealthy are easily justifiable. They do not make their money in a vacuum; they make it from the rest of us. Without the society and infrastructure that government provides the nuts and bolts for, no doctor, lawyer, CEO or plumber would have any basis for becoming wealthy. I realize many wealthy people have worked hard for their money, often earning it through very useful work, and sometimes using their wealth beneficently. This should not be optional. The more they make from society, the more they owe it.
What about issues other than economic ones? In the 2000 and 2004 elections, many voters cited “moral values” or “family values” (whatever those are) as reasons for voting the way they did. So what has happened on that front since then? Have we become more “moral” as a nation? Have we even come to any more agreement on what that means? Is church attendance up? Are abortion rates down? Divorce rates down? High school graduation rates up? Are parents spending more time with kids? I don’t know stats right offhand, but I’d be willing to bet (and willing to bet you’d be willing to bet) the answers are “no”. Take a look at the issue of abortion, for example. The Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in the early 1970s. People who opposed the decision immediately began fighting to reverse it. They may well succeed at some point, at which time those who oppose that decision will immediately began fighting to overturn it, and they will at some point succeed. Unless the country unexpectedly comes to some sort of consensus on the issue, the only way out of this cycle is for those who oppose abortion (which is to say nearly everyone, including most of those who believe in the right to choose one if necessary) to work together from all angles with the goal of eliminating the need for abortions. What I’m suggesting is that these issues don’t have legislative solutions, and so are poor ones on which to base a choice of elected officials. Since we currently face economic, environmental and foreign policy problems which are each enough individually, let alone collectively, to sink us if not handled properly, voting for competence in these matters seems more prudent. Still, I have to point out a couple of oddities on “moral” issues.
The Republican party opposes abortion choice. It also supports capital punishment. Although I’m sure they exist, I don’t think I’ve ever personally met an individual who opposes both of the above. It strikes me that those who oppose abortion choice would be much harder to argue with if, as a whole, they extended the same reverence for life to fully-formed, thinking, living, breathing persons (however guilty or wretched) that they do to fertilized eggs.
Another odd issue is the question of same-sex marriage. When the Republican party came into power in 1980, its overarching theme was that government intruded too much into the personal lives of citizens. Hence I find it odd that Republicans want to define marriage as existing only between one man and one woman. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that the choice of a life partner is a pretty personal decision, and I fail to see that the government should have any say in it at all. Marriage is primarily a social and religious institution that predates government as we know it; thus I don’t believe the government should be in the marriage business period. I believe that civil unions, and civil unions only, should be extended to all couples. All couples – men, women, one of each, brothers & sisters, best buddies, whatever – who, for whatever reason, want the legal, economic and domestic benefits that now are available only to married couples should be able to enter into such arrangements. The only requirements should be that its intent be permanence, and its dissolution be difficult. If such a couple also wishes to be married, that’s another issue which should be decided by the couple’s social customs and religious affiliations. Religious institutions would be free to determine their own positions on questions of marriage.
Of course, neither party’s positions on the above issues really matches my own, but despite the Republican flying of the government-off-your-back banner, I find the Democratic position on both much more honest.
So far I have spoken only about parties and not about candidates. Despite common expressions such as “I vote for the person, not the party”, and the popular disparaging of “party politics”, the party a candidate belongs to is usually the single best indicator of his/her views. After all, candidates choose parties, they are not assigned to them by lottery. And no politician can accomplish much without the support of his/her party. Also, how does one really judge an individual that one knows only filtered, both intentionally and otherwise (and by both detractors and admirers), through multiple layers of media? If there were many viable parties in this country it might be a different story, but given that we have only two, it makes good sense that party affiliation should play a major role in voting choices. Beyond that, one can examine (deeper than sound-bite level) a candidate’s stated positions on issues, and examine his/her voting record. Few people do this, however. After all, it is universal for Americans to complain bitterly about Congress, yet to send their own incumbents back again and again. It’s never “our” representative that casts those “bad” votes. So who does? If people actually knew, Congress might look different.
A year or so ago, when the presidential race was just beginning to gel, I thought I would wind up voting in the Republican primary for McCain, because I believed a Republican would win the election, and that he was the most acceptable of the bunch. My view has changed. I believe that John McCain is one of those well-known but unknown politicians. He has cultivated an image as a “maverick”, one who votes his own mind without regard to party loyalty, and who “crosses the aisle” when necessary. He has also gained a reputation as a “green” Republican. How did he get his reputation, and is it deserved? McCain often points to legislation he has co-sponsored with Democrats as evidence of his independent nature. I’ll point out three fairly recent examples and describe why I believe each bill is an example of legislation designed to maintain the status quo, while giving the appearance that something was being done.
The McCain-Feingold bill clearly has failed in its stated intent to remove big corporate and union money from political races. The bill, in effect, has meant that a politician can’t take a dollar from a CEO’s hand anymore; rather it must be laid on the table where the candidate picks it up. The PACs which sprung up in its wake (MoveOn, Swiftboat Veterans, and on and on) were far from an unforeseen consequence of the bill, as McCain has described them. These groups were ready to go before the ink dried, and all politicians knew it.
The failed McCain-Lieberman climate protection bill would have brought a similar shell game to the climate crisis, had it passed. It raised fuel economy standards for passenger cars by a token amount, but retained loopholes for the worst problem vehicles – vans, pickups and SUVs. It would have implemented a “cap and trade” system for power plant emissions whereby newer, cleaner plants could sell pollution “credits” to older, dirtier plants, perhaps moving pollution around, but not reducing it. And it gave the nod to that potentially most polluting of power plants, nuclear.
The failed immigration bill sponsored with Edward Kennedy was quite a puzzle. It would have created in law, for the first time since reconstruction, an underclass of lower-privileged residents, and would no doubt have dragged down both the wages and the social position of those Americans already on the lowest rungs of the economy. I can only see it as an attempt to present a gift to business interests (primarily agriculture and “hospitality”) that thrive on cheap labor before the minimum-wage bill came up for debate.
The question of McCain’s “greenness” is easy to clear up. He’s a very brownish-yellow shade of green. The League of Conservation Voters is an organization whose purpose is to put pressure on politicians to vote in favor of pro-environment legislation. To this end they compile a voting score for every legislator. This is based only on votes on bills that affect environmental issues – no social, economic, or foreign policy issues are considered. John McCain’s lifetime score is 26 (out of a possible 100). McCain is an ardent supporter of nuclear power, and while environmentalists are not unanimous in their opposition to nuclear, the fact remains that the waste is a deadly issue which has yet to be solved, a fact that McCain continues to deny. McCain continues to advocate greatly expanded oil drilling, even though most experts, from geologists to economists, have said it will have a negligible impact on price or supply. [It must be said here that Obama is far from Greenpeace’s ideal candidate, the difference between his and McCain’s positions being mostly matters of degree, not principle. For a comparison, see http://www.grist.org/candidate_chart_08.html . Obama’s League of Conservation Voters lifetime score, incidentally, is 96, though this may be a function of a relatively short record.]
Obviously, there are many more issues I haven’t even touched on, but I don’t have unlimited time to write, and you don’t have unlimited time to read. (If you’re still reading, it calls your judgment into question, and you should probably find something better to do. But thanks anyway.) Responses are not solicited, but are welcome.
[Income numbers cited above are from Kevin Phillips’ book Wealth and Democracy, published in 2002 by Broadway Books. Kevin Phillips was a statistician for the Gallup Organization for a number of years, then briefly worked as a Republican strategist, and now is primarily an author and commentator.]
Posted by tomitron at 10/22/2008 09:12:00 PM
Posted by tomitron at 10/22/2008 07:07:00 PM
the national republican congressional committee has pulled funding for ads supporting two of my favorite republicans: marilyn musgrave, 4th district in colorado, she who is obsessed with the homosexual agenda, and michelle bachman, who is obsessed with the anti-american caucus in congress, which she would root out with a reincarnation of the mccarthy hearings that made the early 50s such a fun time
The National Republican Congressional Committee today canceled its TV advertising reservation for the last week of the 4th Congressional District campaign, dealing a potentially seriously damaging blow to Marilyn Musgrave's re-election chances.
The NRCC has spent more than $700,000 on TV ads attacking Democrat Betsy Markey the past two weeks and had reserved more than $400,000 for the campaign's final week. But that reservation was cancelled Wednesday, according to Denver TV stations.
Posted by tomitron at 10/22/2008 06:58:00 PM
all things considered, this is funny:
The ABC/WaPo tracking poll shows Obama outperforming Kerry with every group except liberals.
Posted by tomitron at 10/22/2008 06:02:00 PM
21 October 2008
this is the block west of crescent, behind the margaret mitchell house, which the history center sold earlier this year---i didn't think any development was imminent, but maybe some is----the sign sez that trees "may be removed from this site," and refers to plans conveniently located at city hall---some nice magnolias, a paper-bark birch, and a cherry tree plus a hackberry or two at the back corner on tenth---
Posted by tomitron at 10/21/2008 06:49:00 PM
20 October 2008
the christianists may be going away, but the crazies will always be with us:
CULLOWHEE – A dead bear [cub] was found dumped this morning on the Western Carolina University campus, draped with a pair of Obama campaign signs, university police said.
remind me to tell you about the morning i got up and there was a calf's head on my back steps----
Posted by tomitron at 10/20/2008 07:16:00 PM
even some of the republican right is coming to its senses---yesterday, colin powell went out of his way to defend islam during the course of his denouncing the muslimification of obama:
Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.and then this youtube video is all over the place today, wherein mccain-palin rally attendees literally run off some of those obama-is-a-muslim idiots:
Posted by tomitron at 10/20/2008 06:42:00 PM
19 October 2008
he raised $150 million in september alone, and the republicans are freaking out---all of a sudden they are all about campaign finance reform, 'cause it just kills them to see the democrats, for once, out-raising and out-spending their sorry asses----
plus every newspaper in the country is endorsing him, from the houston chronicle to the salt lake tribune to the chicago tribune, which had never endorsed a democrat for president in its 150 year history---e&p has the endorsements at 62 for obama vs. 18 for mccain---the salt lake paper, there in the middle of all those crazy mormons, was especially direct:
Then, out of nowhere, and without proper vetting, the impetuous McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. She quickly proved grievously underequipped to step into the presidency should McCain, at 72 and with a history of health problems, die in office. More than any single factor, McCain's bad judgment in choosing the inarticulate, insular and ethically challenged Palin disqualifies him for the presidency.
Still, we have compelling reasons for endorsing Obama on his merits alone. Under the most intense scrutiny and attacks from both parties, Obama has shown the temperament, judgment, intellect and political acumen that are essential in a president that would lead the United States out of the crises created by President Bush, a complicit Congress and our own apathy.
Posted by tomitron at 10/19/2008 05:02:00 PM
colin powell endorses:
And this business of, for example, a congressman from Minnesota who's going around saying let's examine all congressmen to see who is pro-America or not pro-America. We have got to stop this kind of nonsense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and in our diversity. And so that really was driving me. And to focus on people like Mr. Ayers, these trivial issues for the purpose of suggesting that somehow Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorists' inclinations, I thought that was over the top. It was beyond just good political fighting back and forth. I think it went beyond. And then to sort of throw in this subtle Muslim connection. You know, he's a Muslim and a terrorist. And it was taking root. And we can't judge our people and we can't hold our elections on that kind of basis. And so yes, that kind of negativity troubles me and the constant shifting of the argument.
"stop and pull ourselves together"---amen
Posted by tomitron at 10/19/2008 04:57:00 PM
jonathan alter in newsweek
If he wins, Obama could run aground in a thousand ways next year. He will have to possess all the dexterity he's shown during the campaign, and then some. If he fails to deliver, the country will go back to the center-right. But if he gets a few big things enacted in his first year, Barack Obama would have a fighting chance to move the country to a new place, or at least one we haven't seen for a while. Leftward ho!
Posted by tomitron at 10/19/2008 11:52:00 AM
has cuba finally found a way out of poverty in spite of the u.s.?
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- (Corrects to fix reported oil reserves.) Cuba's oil reserves may be substantially larger than originally estimated, according to reports. Cuban energy officials have said that the country may have over 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil in its offshore fields in the Gulf of Mexico. If confirmed, such reserves would put Cuba among the world's top 20 oil-producing nations.
Posted by tomitron at 10/19/2008 11:01:00 AM
18 October 2008
100,000 at the gateway arch in st. louis to hear obama---a record
"All I can say is wow," Obama said as he took the stage, his home state behind his back across the Mississippi River.
Posted by tomitron at 10/18/2008 02:44:00 PM
from andrew sullivan:
So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"
Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."
Posted by tomitron at 10/18/2008 02:37:00 PM
16 October 2008
It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda. But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.
Posted by tomitron at 10/16/2008 09:24:00 PM
15 October 2008
13 October 2008
11 October 2008
Thursday's debate took place in front of a highly partisan crowd in the GOP stronghold of Middle Georgia.
The report noted that "outside the cavernous arena, fairgoers munched on funnel cake and pork butt on a stick."
Posted by tomitron at 10/11/2008 01:01:00 PM
10 October 2008
RICHMOND, Va. - Scientists have confirmed the second case of a "virgin birth" in a shark. In a study reported Friday in the Journal of Fish Biology, scientists said DNA testing proved that a pup carried by a female Atlantic blacktip shark in the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center contained no from a male.
Posted by tomitron at 10/10/2008 06:19:00 PM
william f. buckley jr, son of the "father" of the modern conservative movement, is endorsing obama and voting democratic for the first time in his life---favorite line was his quoting his pop telling him that he had spent his "entire life time separating the Right from the kooks."
Posted by tomitron at 10/10/2008 04:06:00 PM
HARTFORD, Connecticut (CNN) -- The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay and lesbian couples have the right to get married. The ruling makes Connecticut the third state, after Massachusetts and California, to decide its constitution mandates treating citizens equally when applying for marriage licenses, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Posted by tomitron at 10/10/2008 03:46:00 PM
09 October 2008
The Rev Dr Peter Mullen, who is rector of St Michael’s Cornhill and St Sepulchre without Newgate in the City, said in an internet blog that homosexuality was "clearly unnatural, a perversion and corruption of natural instincts and affections, and because it is a cause of fatal disease".
and he thinks we should be tattooed---doesn't he look holy? the name of his church is a little creepy--or something----
Posted by tomitron at 10/09/2008 07:46:00 PM
08 October 2008
took dog to get him some groceries and sitting here now listening to some talking heads on the teevee observing how the president has lost control of the economy to a "united nations of world banks" -- inadvertently brought to you by the republicans -- globalization takes on a whole new meaning
Posted by tomitron at 10/08/2008 07:49:00 PM
i forgot to post some images from the botanical garden on sunday----they're having their scarecrow-in-the- garden thing until the end of the month----arty kind of scarecrows----i liked the flowers better----that's robert there looking at bugs or something
Posted by tomitron at 10/08/2008 05:39:00 PM
06 October 2008
Poll: GOP Senator Chambliss In Dead Heat For Re-Election
In a very interesting development, a new Research 2000 poll gives Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), who was believed to be more or less invulnerable going into this campaign, a statistically insignificant lead of 45%-44% over Democrat Jim Martin. This corroborates a SurveyUSA poll taken last week, which put Chambliss ahead 46%-44%, as the economy continues to take a toll on Republicans even in seemingly safe places.
Posted by tomitron at 10/06/2008 07:02:00 PM
05 October 2008
04 October 2008
it's like the opiate of the masses on steroids
Has the so-called Prosperity gospel turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis? That's what a scholar of the fast-growing brand of Pentecostal Christianity believes. While researching a book on black televangelism, says Jonathan Walton, a religion professor at the University of California at Riverside, he realized that Prosperity's central promise — that God will "make a way" for poor people to enjoy the better things in life — had developed an additional, dangerous expression during the subprime-lending boom. Walton says that this encouraged congregants who got dicey mortgages to believe "God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house." The results, he says, "were disastrous, because they pretty much turned parishioners into prey for greedy brokers."
Posted by tomitron at 10/04/2008 07:46:00 PM
Posted by tomitron at 10/04/2008 09:39:00 AM