Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Faked Alaska

Well, somebody finally found that cone of silence that John McCain couldn’t locate when he was at Saddleback. And Sarah Palin is in it.

As right-wing as Dick Cheney and hopefully a better shot, the good gov promises to out-do veep C. in the “now you see me, now you don’t” department. Rumor has it, in fact, that the make-believe maverick McCain may put her in charge of the stealth bomber program, while ensuring first that she doesn’t sell them all on eBay.

O.K., I kid. But I kid because there’s little else to do when we’ve got a nominee about whom less is known than we initially know about most serial killers.

One thing we can understand for sure is that McCain’s acceptance speech in which he promised that his “administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability” may be undeniably true–but not in the way we thought he meant it.

However, what do we expect from a lock-stepping maverick who votes with the people he now pretends to run against more than 90% of the time and who tells us, after choosing a running mate who is so far right of center, that he intends to reach across the aisle to the opposition? (He might– but what about Sarah? She’d need the arms of an orangutan to even reach the aisle on McCain’s side, let alone get across it.)

That’s a reach the equivalent of which Senator McSame is asking the voters of this country to make if they’re going to buy into the current image of himself and Palin that he’s trying to sell. Hopefully, there will be no takers.

Senator Small Change

September 5, 2008 by themortalcynic

I feel sorry for Bill and Sue Nebe of Farmington Hills, Michigan and Jake and Terry Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Why do I feel sorry for them–even though I’m not running for political office and,therefore, don’t have to list a litany of names to put a face on my heightened sensibilities ? Well, I feel sorry for them because John McCain has listed them as the faces of people who he’s fighting for.

The former couple, after all, lost all of their money in real estate. And John McCain knows something about real estate– what with having more houses than most Monopoly gamers and all. Still, he’s spoken out against government involvement in helping people who’ve lost their houses and constantly sided against homeowners in favor of lenders in the past.

Now, the Nebes must work a total of FOUR jobs to make ends meet. Still, don’t despair, Nebes! John McCain says that his party believes in “hard work and risk takers,” so you folks should be o.k. Of course, he was talking, here, about the top one-percent and why he believes they need their tax cuts. Hopefully, those FOUR jobs are pretty high end and will allow you to qualify. If not, I’m afraid there’s bad news. John McCain has continually voted against the minimum wage and equal pay for women, and since Sue Nebe has three of the FOUR jobs, well….That’s why you made my “sorry for” list.

As to Jake and Tony Wimmer, well…Jake works on a loading dock, coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. And Tony teaches. The good news is that John McCain is not on record as having any problem with Little League or with helping the disabled–though Governor Palin might find these predilections a little too close to community organizing to meet her comfort level. And the loading dock thing…well, I hope it has to do with imports since McCain once again last night declared his support of free trade–no matter how unfairly it’s weighted. As to you Tony, McCain is really behind you. Of course, you’d be better off if you taught in private schools such as the ones his kids attended or the ones he wants to offer vouchers for. If not, not a problem. He has said that he’ll look into providing funding for the “No Child Left Behind” program that he had a hand in creating and has voted against properly funding in the intervening years. But,hey, it could be worse. How? Well, you could be working FOUR jobs like the Nebes!

I won’t even go into the other case he mentioned. The young man who was killed in Iraq. Some of the worst minutes of my life in the last few years have been spent watching the silent roll call at the end of the Lehrer Report. Yet I watch because I feel it is my duty to watch. I’ve been asked to sacrifice nothing else for this war–the least I can do is to pay attention to the faces of some our country’s best kids as they flash before me and I’m left to wonder, as their families must, what might have been.

Yet, change is coming, he says. ” Change is coming!”

And if he’s referring to change of position, then there’s no disputing that McCain is,indeed, the change candidate. He wrote an immigration bill that he says he now couldn’t even vote for. He was against the tax cuts for the rich BEFORE he was for them. He denounced the Karl Rove school of dirty politics BEFORE he embraced it. He said last night that he would help create millions of new jobs in the field of alternative energy, and yet his record BEFORE last night was a perfect one when it came to energy legislation last session. He missed all eight votes dealing with the issue, even though his vote might have been the deciding one in several instances.

In fact (with a special nod to our new watchdog, Sarah Palin), John McCain was NOT PRESENT for 60 percent of the votes taken last session. So, when he talks about a “do-nothing Congress,” listen well–for he knows whereof he speaks.

And one final word, since we’re talking of voting records– and I can feel the word “maverick” in the offing. When I grew up, a maverick was a person who used his own head, blazed his own trail, sailed his own course. (Since you’re such a ‘feminist,’ Governor, you can insert feminine pronouns there, and it would be more than fine with me. Just leave out the references to lipstick.)

But CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY, tells us that McCain voted with the evil President Bush fully 95% of the time in 2007 and 100% of the time (every time he showed up) in 2008.

Not to mention, my good Governor, that he chose you as his running mate, I suspect, to please the “conservatives” (and I’m sorry, I can’t even use that word because of my respect for men like the late Senator Goldwater)…let’s say (in kindness) “social-conservatives” of his party. Not exactly a maverick move where I come from, young lady.

Deny that if you will. But, if so, in the words of the immortal Ricky Ricardo ” ’splain me this.” Why would his acceptance speech be so much about reaching across the aisle, ending “partisan rancor”– why– if you were,indeed, his ideal choice? Do you really think that he’d have named someone from so far right a position if he’d all the while planned to offer himself as a peacemaker? If you answer yes, then you must certainly believe him to be a few spokes short of a wheel or a little less than “with it,” I fear. And maybe you’re right.

But right or wrong, this is not the John McCain who really was a hero and who really did used to be a kind of “maverick.”

And right or wrong this is not the change we have been looking for.

Lore And Odor

September 3, 2008 by themortalcynic

“Lore and Odor!” How ’bout that as a title for Fred Thompson’s new, ready-for-prime-time show. Or just a description of his “keynote” speech, perhaps.

A former candidate in this year’s Republican presidential primaries and a guy who might well have been featured in some one’s anti-celebrity ads ( a little too second-rate to be seen with Angelina but right on the mark for a Paris Hilton spot), Thompson donned the greasepaint once again in praise of former rival, John McCain.

His acting was, as usual, sub par.

A man with a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt and currently a Washington lobbyist, you wouldn’t think old Fred would be so apt to welcome the election of a “maverick” (McCain) and a potential “reformist” (Palin) who are coming to Washington to “irritate the alligators” and “drain the swamp.” You’d think that, being a lawyer and a lobbyist Mr. Thompson would be a little more protective of his natural habitat.

You’d also think that a guy with a law degree from Vandy and a high-powered, multi-digit income might be too embarrassed to assume some “aw-shucks” Uncle Fred persona at a time when he’s not supposed to be playacting and when he’s asking the American people to trust what he has to say. But take a look at the speech. It’s full of water and buckets and swamps–an exotic dancer named “Marie, the Flame of Florida,” field-dressing a moose –and it even gives a tip of the cap to good old Teddy Roosevelt who, after all, ran a few percentage points ahead of Fred in this year’s primaries. But, hey, didn’t everybody?

Don’t be too hard on old Fred, though. He did give a pretty accurate accounting of the serious problems now facing our country. “Terrorists, rogue nations developing nuclear weapons, an increasingly belligerent Russia, intensifying competition from China, spending at home [not to mention in Iraq] that threatens to bankrupt future generations, [and] for decades an expanding government, increasingly wasteful and too often incompetent.”

What he failed to say is that most of these problems are as a result of the “leadership” of George Bush and Republican control of both houses of Congress and that one of the “alligators” who worked their little “swamp,” and an old bellowing bull one at that, was none other than Senator John Sidney McCain.

Aw, shucks! Lore and odor, anyone?

Rainy Day Woemen

September 1, 2008 by themortalcynic

Now, let me get this straight. The Republican Convention has been held up by a hurricane less than a week after its own prima donnas of prayer, led by Stuart Shepard of Focus on the Family, urged the deity to send “torrential rain” to douse the acceptance speech of Barack Obama at Invesco Field…and nobody else is laughing? Well, all I can think is that it’s too early.

After all, it’s not everyone who can gloat over a natural disaster by proclaiming that it’s been sent to an area in punishment for a gay pride parade the week before. (Never mind that thousands of innocent bystanders also had to suffer–neither God nor President W. seems to have the hang of making “surgical strikes”quite yet.)

So, I’ll withhold my own ironic laughter until my fellow citizens, no matter what their sexual preferences, are hopefully spared any devastation this time and let the G.O.Pevangelicals, who have His ear, speak for the Absolute Being.

And I’ll let John Hagee, James Dobson et al do the play by play on what the divinity is up to here. (I doubt they’ll mark it up to political affiliation since even a Being with an infinite sense of humor would have trouble throwing in with the Democrats.)

An honest response could be that if He/She (the Godhead) is behind this at all, it might be to alert people that with all the misery and pain they find around them they oughtn’t be praying to bring harm, even of a “prankish” kind, to anyone. But,then, I guess we all know better than to seek an “honest response” from the priests or the politicos.

So, I’ll just sit up here on my perch and hope for the best for now. Nearly two-thirds of the population of Orleans parish didn’t go back after the last devastation, and so there are fewer people in harm’s way and fewer to evacuate. The Washington Establishment is already in place this time and looking dour and chastened and “Brownie” is back running with the horses, so it’s hoped that our brothers and sisters to the South are the better for all that.

But just in case, let’s all say a prayer.

The Palin Pick

August 31, 2008 by themortalcynic

It’s official. John McCain has gone to the well and lowered the bucket and Sarah Palin emerged as number 1 on his bucket list. The pundits are having a field day–those on the right trying to defend the “experience” of Palin as better than Obama’s since hers is as an executive (a governor) which,thus, makes her, automatically, a sounder manager than he. Because we all know that those with gubernatorial experience have superior managerial skills to those of mere Senators, don’t we? After all, look at George Bush! (Oops, better not…better,um, let’s move on.)

The pundits on the left are charging McCain with making a cynical political move. (With nary a nod to the redundancy of all that,either.)

Frankly, I find it a very honest choice. After all, what is the main requirement of a V.P. anyway? Why it’s to replace the guy at the top should he (God forbid–the usual interjection used here) fall ill or become even more mentally incapacitated than recent office holders have been or (God…oh, the hell with it) dies. So, the veep need not be a superstar but merely good enough to fill the hole left by the departure of the sucker she supplants.

So, by choosing a backup with virtually no known accomplishments and even less grounding in international affairs than he has (see previous blog for that), he’s admitting that it won’t take very much to replace him should he go down. ( Reminds you of the Ravens’ quarterbacking situation, don’t it?)

And I say, hooray for Senator McCain for such an honest assessment –no matter how backhanded he might have been in making it.

I have often said that you’d have had to look long and hard to find a worse “leader” than the current occupant of our highest office, so someone who raises 5 children…or any of the children, for that matter, might do a better job than what we’re currently having done. That’s why I say: “Why not have a fresh hockey mom to replace one of our previously elected hockey pucks ?”

Congratulations to John McCain and to the Republican leadership for nominating a woman for veep a little fewer than 25 years after the Dems did the same. And thanks for the honesty of your choice.

How Many Houses Does It Take To Make A Loser

August 26, 2008 by themortalcynic

O.K. I know that this whole thing has been blown up out of proportion, but,then, it was the Rove Regiment who got that started, so it’s not seemly that they be squealing now. (How does the word “elitist” sound when it’s coming in your direction, hmm?) McCain is answering by playing the P.O.W. card (”I spent five and a half years in a prison cell, I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a kitchen table….”). In other words, we should honor his past before we diss his present–just so long as we don’t start honoring the other guy’s struggles or that we don’t go too far back in time to when he was an undistinguished student at the Naval Academy–more or less a “legacy” case in the way that his recent “strange bedfellow,” George Bush, was at Princeton. (”Undistinguished” only refers to his grades. Having come from a well-to-do family and rating visits by high-ranking brass, pals of his father and grandfather, put him otherwise out in the spotlight, thank you very much.)

So,we are to begin our critique of Senator McCain only after the Vietnam experience and to cut him slack as a result of that experience. Sure. His marital infidelities can be forgiven. After all, a guy who has spent so much time in the weeds deserves some clover when he can get it. (Sounds exactly what he was saying in his “houses” defense,now, doesn’t it?) Or he has the right to slip ups on matters of national borders (Iraq and Pakistan,for instance), enmities (Sunni, Shiite–who cares?), houses (”My staff will get back to you on that.)

O.K. Fine. And I’m down with all of that. You bet, I’ll make him some room. He’s done his share, and he’s more than paid his dues.

Still, the question that I’m left with after I give him all of these passes and agree that he’s entitled given his trials is this: Does a guy who, through no fault of his own, undergoes life-altering experiences to the point of mental and psychological impairment deserve to be taken seriously as a candidate for the highest office in our land?

Sure McCain is the “experienced” candidate, but not all experience leads to positive outcomes. Heck, any visit to a local correctional facility should be enough to tell you that.

I’m just asking. And I’m asking because I’m the Mortal Cynic. Experience has made me that.

My Censored Posting

August 23, 2008 by themortalcynic

In yesterday’s entry, I mentioned a response to a poster on the HUFFINGTON site that got edited out of sight. The original comment came from a person who was gleeful at how his candidate, Senator McCain, had clearly won the Saddleback “debate.” I pointed out that what went on at Saddleback could hardly be called a debate and that his candidate looked good mainly because he was often not responding to the questions but simply plugging in stories (the cross in the dirt) and statements (”gates of hell”) that had been field-tested previously. I compared Reverend Warren’s tolerance of this behavior to what we might all undertake for an old but lovable uncle who meanders sometimes when he’s telling stories at the dinner table. I further pointed out that a real moderator might have sought clarification when the question”What’s been your greatest moral failure?” was answered with the very generalized response of “my first marriage.” Here, although the question was to the person, the answer omits any mention of the person. Was the undertaking of the first marriage a problem? Was the condition of the spouse after her accident the problem? (Doubtful since neither of these was a moral failing.) Basically, the Senator was allowed to skate while receiving kudos for his directness in answering questions. And no mention of his adulterous behavior was made or sought after. Don’t get me wrong, I could care less about his marital misadventure. I leave all the judgmental moralizing to such chosen ones as Hannity, O’Reilly and Limbaugh. But when a man is misdirecting like a magician, I don’t want to be told that he won a “debate” by being a straight shooter. McCain may want to treat me like a “chum” but I ain’t no “chum-p”!

Off In A Huff

August 22, 2008 by themortalcynic

A bit of a greenhorn when it comes to computers but pretty passionate when it comes to politics, I have tried to answer a couple of what I would consider underhanded posts on various sites. I submitted a couple on Youtube only to discover that my comment could be removed at the whim of the original poster and, worse, that I could be barred from ever entering that poster’s comment zone again. Then, yesterday, moved to action by what I considered an unfair attack on my candidate, housed on the Huffington Post site, I composed a lengthy screed which I had to edit several times to make fit–only to have it put on a thread that would never open. (That’s where this first post gets its title.) So, now, I am trying this blog. The first entry will be brief, but I hope to get wordier later on, and I hope someone out there reads and reacts to this. I can’t promise you that you’ll never lose something that you send in response to one of my posts, but I will promise that it will never be of my doing. Disagree with me if you wish. I will never censor anyone or bar anyone who takes the time to respond. And should this Administration leave any of them open, you can take that to the bank.

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