Archive for October, 2008



McCain and “My Fellow Prisoners”

During a campaign speech in Pennsylvania, Senator John McCain, in mid-sentence, addressed his audience as “my fellow prisoners.” He did it without missing a beat. There was no explanation afterward, and the crowd didn’t seem to know what to make of it. Neither do I.

McCain seemed to be speaking in a sincere tone, trying to talk about his position, so why would he use the word prisoners? And did anyone see the look on Sarah Palin’s face when he said it? Of what is he a prisoner? The present administration? The press corps that was taping his speech? Or was he referring to his audience members as prisoners of his rhetoric?

While the McCain campaign might be busy today trying to concoct an explanation for yesterday’s mistake, my fear is that the real reason behind the misstep was that he is suffering from some sort of psychological problem induced by either senility or post-traumatic stress disorder.

What do you think about his “my fellow prisoners” moment?

McCain Attacks Obama for Not Funding the Troops

I’m not just talking about John McCain, who, while looking down his nose, likes to tell his audiences that Barack Obama voted against funding the troops. Cindy McCain is now out there on the campaign trail, telling people that it sent a cold chill through her body when she found out that Obama had voted against troop funding. Cold chill? First, is there any other kind of chill than a cold one? Second, how many cold chills did she get when she found out that her own husband was against funding the troops? Their own son was in Iraq at the time, so she must have been uncontrollably outraged—and chilled to the bone—to find out that the young man’s own father would have voted against helping him, right? No, not really. She left out that little detail in the video that I saw. Perhaps she mentioned it later.

In May 2007, Senator Obama did, indeed, vote against authorizing billions for the war—because he not only wanted to help our troops with money, but he wanted to get them out of Iraq, and without a timetable, that wasn’t likely to happen. He said, “We must fund our troops. But we owe them something more.” He called for “a clear, prudent plan to relieve them of the burden of policing someone else’s civil war.” By the way, I’ve never seen Obama shy away from talking about his vote on that issue or responding to McCain’s attacks about it. What the McCains don’t tell you is that every other time, Obama voted ‘yes’ to fund the troops. This time, he thought that it was time to do more than just extend their stay in hell.

Something else that the McCains don’t tell you is that there had been a bill earlier that both funded the troops AND provided a non-binding plan for withdrawal, which the overwhelming majority of Americans wanted. This is the bill that Senator Obama supported and voted ‘yes’ on. But more important, this is the bill that John McCain urged the President to veto. McCain, himself, was conveniently absent for the vote, but he urged the President to veto the bill, which Bush did. So, McCain was against troop funding. Not only was he against troop funding in this instance, but he voted against the troops many other times (but that’s for another day—-very soon).

It’s all in your perspective, isn’t it? If you support the troops and want them to come home, then you boast about Obama’s vote. If you want the troops to stay in Iraq indefinitely, then you boast about McCain’s urging the President to veto the bill.

Senator McCain likes to remind his audiences that we need truthfulness from our next President. Then why isn’t he, McCain, being truthful? And if he does become the next President, will he continue an administration of lies? Haven’t we already had 8 years of that?

Hallway Conversation Etiquette

A lack of common sense warning is in effect in every hallway in America!!

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to walk through other people’s conversations in the hallway at work because the people having the conversation are standing on opposite sides of the hall. Invariably, these hallway conversants are standing across from each other, forcing people who are walking through halls (which is the purpose of a hallway, I might add) to walk between them–and right through the conversation.

I usually say “Excuse me” since it’s polite to say that when interrupting people; however, it is they who are interrupting me. I’m supposed to be walking through the hall–it’s the only way to get to the restroom; they’re not supposed to be having a meeting in the hall. There’s nothing wrong with talking in a hall (libraries and places of religious worship aside), but stand on the same side of the hall, people.

You don’t have to stand any closer to the person to whom you’re speaking–unless you want to (I have a don’t ask/don’t tell policy about hall relationships). In this new common sense position, though, you won’t be an interference to others, and others won’t be put in the awkward situation of walking through your private conversations.

It’s common sense, people!! Work with me.

McCain and Nailing Jello to the Wall

At last night’s debate, Senator McCain said that nailing down Senator Obama’s various tax proposals is like nailing jello to the wall.

Really? That sounded like something that he was told to say rather than something that he could have concluded on his own, but I decided to investigate it on my own rather than take anyone else’s word for it. My first thought was to go to the source: Senator Obama. So I went to his Web site, and lo and behold, there in figurative print was Senator Obama’s tax plan. I also do recall Obama giving specifics at the debate—at least as many specifics as either candidate could give considering the minute or so they had to respond.

Not only does Obama give specifics on his tax plan on his Web site, but he gives specifics on all of the issues. What I find most interesting about McCain’s statement is what I have found so interesting about much of this campaign (and even more so about other campaigns in very recent history), and that is that many in the press are so willing to parrot the lie without thinking about its legitimacy. It seems that many people would rather just repeat what someone else says than do the work themselves in order to determine whether there’s any truth to it.

I haven’t re-watched the debate yet (and I’m not sure whether I’m going to), but if I do, I’ll make sure to keep an ear out for any of McCain’s non-gelatinous tax-plan specifics.

Barack Obama Knew Bill Ayres—Big Deal!

Barack Obama knew Bill Ayres. There, I said it—oh, and so already has Senator Obama; he hasn’t been trying to hide anything. While that’s all that the conservative right wants you to know so that you’ll conclude that Obama is a terrorist, I believe in adding the facts.

Ayres was, indeed, a left-wing radical who, as the New York Times says, launched ” a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and United States Capitol” about 40 years ago, when the senator was about 8. Since then, Ayres has turned his life around; he got both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. and is a professor at University of Illinois. He and Obama met over 20 years after his crimes, when they both were working on an anti-poverty project. Anti-poverty? Oh, that is radical (especially for the conservative right). And both men lived in the same neighborhood. I suppose Obama should have relocated. Ayres also contributed 200 dollars to Obama’s 2001 senate campaign. I bet that bought him a lot of radical favors. There are a few other details——-fairly boring—–about them being at a luncheon for school reform together and about Ayres hosting a coffee when Obama was running for office in the mid-90s. Wake me when it’s over. And this is why McCain and Palin are calling Obama a terrorist? Are you kidding me?

I thought that the conservative Christian right believed in salvation, believed that a person could change his life. Or is that just all talk that’s dragged out and paraded in front of the media only when it’s convenient for them?

If having been acquainted with Ayres at one time, who 40 years ago committed a crime and has now turned himself around and works against poverty and works in the educational system at one of the finest universities in the country, makes Obama a terrorist, then we should probably all look a little more closely at our childhood friends, co-workers, and even the people sitting right next to us in church.

If you want to not vote for Barack Obama because someone he met about 15 years ago when both men were doing the Lord’s work had committed crimes 40 years ago, then that’s your choice. But don’t try to make the argument that that makes Barack Obama a terrorist by association. Oh, please.

Say It Isn’t So, Sarah

I saw a clip of V.P. candidate Sarah Palin once again mocking someone. This time, it was former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. I’m sure that most of you have seen it.

For those who haven’t, apparently, Palin was quoting a Starbuck’s coffee mug, which had an Albright quote on it. (Don’t they have actual recent newspapers at Starbuck’s that Palin could have been reading to catch up on what’s going on in the world instead of reading old quotes off the coffee cups in there?) Palin thought that it was mock-worthy to tell her audience that Albright had apparently said, “There’s a place in hell reserved for women who don’t support other women.” The crowd then booed.

First, from the photo of the coffee cup that I’m looking at, the quote is actually “There is a special place in hell reserved for women who don’t help other women.” To me, it’s not that big of a deal that she got the quote wrong by substituting support for help and omitting special, but technically speaking, if you’re going to quote someone, then you should probably, ummmm, quote him or her; otherwise, it’s not a quote but, rather, a paraphrase, which you really shouldn’t try to pass off as a quote. Maybe it’s a good thing that there isn’t a special place in hell for women who misquote other women.

Second, if Palin feels so strongly about it, then should we all assume that she supported, helped, and voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the primaries or was planning to vote for her in the general election? I mean, after all, Palin is now suggesting with that quote that Democratic women should vote for Palin just because she’s a woman. If she did support Clinton, then I wonder whether John McCain knows about it since he did pick her as the REPUBLICAN v.p. candidate. Would he really choose someone who was narrow-minded and sophomoric enough to support someone simply because they’re both women? And if she didn’t support, help, and vote for Clinton, then isn’t Palin the one going to hell?

Third, why is there a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women? That’s just a little quote that Palin is now trying in desperation to turn into something that she can use as a way to get votes; otherwise, we could argue that women should help other women who are ax murderers running from the law, women should help other women who are trying to use their children as pawns in custody battles, and women should help other women who want to pass legislation that would rip health insurance away from their families. There are angry, misguided, and even sometimes evil people of both sexes out there; are we supposed to always blindly support those who share the X-chromosome if we, ourselves, have an X-chromosome regardless of the person’s intentions? According to Sarah Palin, the answer is ‘yes.’

Fourth, I wonder whether Palin thought that she was being supportive or helpful to Ms. Albright by taking what she’d said and trying to use it as a way to get people to vote for her even if they didn’t think that she was the best candidate but, rather, just because she’s a woman.  Hmmmmm.

Palin, in her usual condescending tone, riled the misguided crowd into a chorus of booing for what reason I just don’t know. Were they booing Albright? Were they booing Palin? Were they booing every woman in America who’s intelligent enough to make up her own mind about a candidate based on that candidate’s integrity, record, and positions on the issues? And is booing a woman really supportive or helpful?

I wonder if there’s a special place in hell for women who try to take a quote by another woman and use it as a way to hide their own inadequacies.

Introduction

When I decided to start this blog, I was certain that I was going to focus solely on politics.

I had quite a bit of time to think about it over those two days, however (between football games, of course), and I realized that there were so many more injustices out there that needed to be shoved into the glaring light of day. For example, should a play really be considered a touchdown when the player isn’t in the end zone but the very tip of the top of the ball is barely on the white line? Why don’t people actually stop at stop signs? Why do the forecasters on the Weather Channel love the word impact so much, and why do they keep using it incorrectly?

While politics will be the main focus, at least for the next few weeks, these and other important issues will be covered.

Civil comments and discussion will be welcome; notice that I said CIVIL. Please do be respectful of others who have dissenting opinions; we need not agree to get along, and we need not be inappropriate to get our points across—–at least not if we want our comments posted. My house, my rules.

Welcome!