Saturday, September 27, 2008

First McCain-Obama Debate

I had intended to say nothing about the debate, figuring whoever read this blog had seen it and made up their minds, but then I became intrrigued by the disconnect between the pundits and the people, as represented in the instamatic polls--not enough to write anything, mind you, just intrigued. The polls lined up pretty decisively for the Obama, for instance, while with the exception of the ever sane and insightful Gail Collins at The New York Times, most of the pundits were droning on about advantage McCain, although as the day wears on that might be changing. The worst of that lot proves to be the putative 'dean' of Washington political columnists, who calls McCain the "alpha male" on the stage, proclaiming that the Obama's deference was manifest in his several statements of agreement with McCain and his looking at McCain. Meanwhile, McCain's "alpha" status was manifest in his refusal to look the Obama in the eye and barely to call him by name, in his disdainful dismissive tone, and in his diatribe on the 'surge.'

I suppose that it is good that Broder is no wolf, because he doesn't know the lingo--and I'm talking here the mythic "alpha." Subservient wolves refuse to look the "alpha" male or female in the eye; rather, they avert their gaze, for fear that if they lock eyes, the "alpha" will slap them down. That sounds like people, does it not--avert you eyes before the great man! The Obama used a rhetorical device known to all good teachers of praising what is good in a statement or paper before commenting more fully. That sort of "deference" is known to wolves too and it is the opposite of subservience. Broder does not note that the Obama repeatedly called McCain, John, hardly a sign of deference. Moreover, the moderator Jim Lerher was begging them to engage and the Obama was attempting to do so. McCain was afraid to face the Obama or debate real substance becausee he has none.

I suppose Broder was basing his "alpha" argument on the myth that as ruler of the house, you need to exercise alphahood over your dog by rolling it on its back staring at it so that it averts its eyes, as all subservient creatures do. Or the shibboleth that you should never let your dog stare you in the eyes because that will embolden it to challenge your alphahood. In any event the notion is that McCain put Obama in his place.

Bunk, as I said, the "slpha"male on the stage, if you must, was the Obama. He was gracious in the face of rudeness. He stood his ground. He commanded himself and exuded calm, as he always does, and power---I always get the impression of remarkable power lurking just under the surface of the Obama. He keeps it controlled, the way he keeps the crowds he draws from becoming too exuberant. He exercised it when he summoned McCain to Oxford. He was tall, fit, commanding. McCain was small and shrinking, a shrill whiner, a fear biter. Or see what James Fallows has to say in the

As to the "surge"--if it worked so well, why the pause in the draw down? If we are victorious, why are we still there,. The answer is that the surge is a pr success for Petraeus and its backers in the U.S. Baghdad had been ethnically cleansed before the troop buildup of the surge began, meaning violence there was already reduced. The same goes for provinces where the Sunni Awakening was present. Maqtada al-Sadr's decision to keep his Mehdi Army out of combat despite considerable provocation was crucial to the surge's "success"; indeed, a good argument can be made that Maqtada made the "surge" a "success".

Far from the re-emergence of John McCail, we are seeing thee dissolution of John McCain, the myth.

More significantly, I hope, we are seeing the Obama near that final bar in his improbable quest, gaining power and confidence as he goes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Clintons at It Again

First, let me admit that I have never been a fan of William Jefferson Clinton. I voted for him reluctantly the first time to get the warmonger elder Bush out of the White House, but I always felt that Clinton, more than most politicians lacked the courage of his non-convictions and was the perpetual student council president alwayys running to please someone. Indeed, as president, he signed welfare reform--giving poor people less--and banking reform--giving rich people more. Then there was Monica--he never let her swallow--not that hoot counts, anyway--and thus, no affair. The guy can't take responsibility for his actions or his apetitites. Then there were the 2008 primaries--read back through this blog--where he and Hills consciously and viciously played to sexual and racial rejudice. Now there is this interview with the View television program, which can only be see as an endorsement of McCain. As to Hills--I had long thought she could be president, but then she voted for the Iraq War, without reading the intelligent assessment, and authorized Bush to war with Iran, whenever he pleases. Those are irresponsible acts. Now while pretending to support the Obama wholeheartedly, the Clintons are making nice nice toward McCain and Palin. Why because they want Hills running again in 2012, which ain't possible if the Obama wins. So on a day when George Will says McCain is unfit to be President, Bubba--that's Clinton--does everything but endorse him, while damning the Obama with faint praise. He says he's going to campaign for the Obama in selected state, and so we'll see what form that takes. This sort of triangulation is typical of the Clintonoids, both of whom should take a long vacation from public life at one of McCain's 10 houses. He can even loan them a car or two or 13.

End of the Imperium

There is a story from Reuters today on a leading Chinese academic economist calling for an end to the primacy of the dollar in the world financial order. Thus, the process Nixon put in train some 40 years ago when he floated the dollar and opened diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China comes full circle under the presidency of the son of the first U.S. ambassador to China. That former ambassador became the president presiding over the fall of the Wall and breakup of the Soviet Empire, and now his son has nearly succeeded in killing what remains of the American Imperium. Meanwhile, Nixon's Dr. Strangelove has now become tutor in chief for Governor Lipstick.

Who's the Most Conservative

Sports and political junkies take note, especially if you are still attempting to convert the" heathern." Call the racists out with this true observation. The most socially and morally conservative candidate in this race is Barack Obama. By all accounts, he doesn't screw around, he dotes on his two girls and his wife, he believes parents should be involved in their childrens' lives and make sure, especially, that they work hard in school. He believes that it is through hard work that you get ahead--totally American. Compare that to the legacy, John McCain. Without being the son and grandson of admirals, he would never have graduated--he would never have been admitted to--the Naval Academy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fiction of Surge and Splurge

The mainstream American media remain willingly captive to the government's fictional narrative of the Iraq war. I have to think it is because despite their knowledge that they were deceived by the weapons of mass destruction justification--and their anger over that--they remain reliant on the U.S.. military for their safety and access to the information they need to report any stories. They are also congenitally inclined to trust authority, especially authority, like General David Petraeus, who assiduously cultivates them. So great is the American media's devotion to Petraeus that it is more adamant about the "surge" damping downn violence in Baghdad than he is. The media is so adamant that it pillories Barack Obama for not hewing to the fictional narrative.

Obama was right. We know that Maqtada Al-Sadr's decision to keep his Mahdi armies on the sidelines and the rise of the Sunni Awakening against insurgents contributed probably more than the surge--the Sunni Awakening predated the surge; the Maqtada's decision was coincident. Now in the journal Environment and Planning A appears a paper by John Agnew at UCLA and two colleagues, called "Baghdad nights: evaluating the U.S. miliary "surge" using nighttime light signatures." Between spring 2006 and the beginning of the surge in February 2007, the largest Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad were emptied, ethnically cleansed, as manifest in satellite photo showing a 57 percent to 80 percent drop in nighttime light levels in Baghdad's Sunni enclaves. The American media couldn't ignore this story, although this link is from the Times Online [London], but for now it is buried under the financial meltdown.

I don't see in the Bush any guarantees that the greedy bastards behind this disaster will pay any penalty. If they don't, the bailout is just a continuation of the shell game. These people knew what they were doing. They must forfeit profit and pay gained from the bubble and be kept from profiting in any way from future sales. Simultaneously working people must be protected, but we have no obligation to safeguard mortgages on 2nd or 3rd or whatever homes.

Anti-Obama Wingnuts

The truths of Miami are that its climate is such that in the winter it collects just about every kind of organism there is that finds the cold and low light levels of northern hemisphere winters unacceptable and that, once here, those same organisms have their brains baked until they no longer function. In other words, Miami collects wingnuts, one of whom appeared today at the University of Miami to harass the Obama. The media herd following the Obama had a protest happily to report, and they did so without putting the event in context. They were around 10 to 15 in number in a crowd of more than 10,000, aiming for media to portray them as blacks protesting the black. So here's a freebe for whatever media wants to use it, with attribution to Dog Bytes, of course.

Yesterday, Gina Maranto did some checking of stills from the scene at, the student newspaper site, and read the fine print on the

He''s changed his Home Page since Gina checked it yesterday. Now you are prominently directed to "for information on Oprah and Obamas destruction of the black race and rest of the world." There is a photograph from the 'demonstration' along with his graphic novel detailing Michael's' defeat of Satan. If you click on and scroll through that, you end up with a link to the Michaeldefeatssatan home --and there you see Michael himself on camera. He seems to have some relationship to Yahweh Ben Yahweh, who as YHWH was God to the Nation of Yahweh, headquartered in Liberty City, south of Miami. He was also a convicted felon--racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder--who died in May 2007.

The Obama by the way was good. The women providing the warm up--local politicians leading up to local Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri--were terrific. In debate, any one of them would demolish Governor Lipstick....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Financial Insanity

So here is what I understand [with spelling corrected from last night].

GREED: Various 'banks' were taking subprime mortgages and bundling them with other more and less solid securities to sell to investors at a more or less guaranteed return on investment, all made safe by what everyone, including buyer and seller, knew was a real estate bubble. But everyone was making loads of money and their ethos was 'buy low, sell high.' They were kings and queens of the world

DOUBT: Home prices started to sag in certain high growth markets. I saw someone wanted to blame Miami and South Florida again, but it was more Central Florida and Las Vegas. A rise in adjustable rate mortgages and weakening economy caused more erosion. People who had bought these packages began to worry, and neither they nor the packager knew how much debt was bad, how much good.

FEAR: Rather than figure their exposure, the institutions that understood this absurdity early on began to dump those packages. When that word got out, more and more people panicked, and that fear has by now, a year later turned to screams for a government assumption of all that bad debt.

SANITY: If a bailout is necessary make it hurt those responsible for this mess. Here's what we should demand. All assets go to the government, that is the taxpayer to hold and to run. If they are sold, all profit goes to the taxpayer, that is the government for paying off debt. People in policy making positions in those institutions will sacrifice all of their assets to the public, in return for modest pensions and health care--and that's more than they deserve. Investors in those companies will have to pay a surcharge on whatever of the assets they buy on sale from the government, say up to 200 percent, for obvious reasons. Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, and company are wrapped in orange jump suits, manacled wrist to ankle, bagged, and shipped to The Hague for war crimes.

We;re going to hear the Obama tomorrow at the University of Miami, but I've said before, and I say again: the sole and singular question of this campaign is whether America will elect a black man--a mixed race man president. "True that," as Omar, The Wire, says--said before he got offed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Eejitry [revised]

I'll put this as bluntly as I can--the bounce for McCain't/Palinites in the polls represents the signal sad undiscussed reality that Sarah Palin provides cover for every closet racist in America not to vote for a black man. Making the campaign about race rather than issues is old hat, too. It's what broke apart the early 20th Century coalescence of poor whites and blacks. It's what has driven politics in the South since Reconstruction and, yes, even in the North. With Palin on the McCain't ticket, people who wouldn't have pulled the lever for the Obama suddenly find themselves with a person to vote for while saying, "I voted for a minority. Ii voted for a woman." Nothing else matters to them or him. If I'm right, and Plain flushed the unacknowledged racists, then the Obama is in pretty good shape at dead even. He's got nowhere to go but up, while McCain't can crash again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Republican Identity Politics

Why is it that Republicans automatically identify the word 'pig' with Sarah Palin and by extension every woman?

Could it be that these antediluvian McCain'ts think of women that way? Of course they do.

Now, that's the issue that should be discussed.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Putting Family First

In full hypocritical fury, Republican operatives have spent the past week accusing the press of having a sexist and class vendetta against Sarah Palin, aka Ms. Lipstick 2008, and beating up on her pregnant daughter. The McCain'ts and Palinists brought up the issue of daughter Bristol's pregnancy and impending shotgun wedding to refute a rumor bounding around the Internet that the Sarah was really her son's grandmother, that the real mother was Bristol--they say. I was arguing the other day that dragging the daughter in was the last thing a protective mother and father would do. Reading that, my mother observed that all Ms. Lipstick had to do was produce an official statement from her doctor to the the effect that she had delivered the child on such and such a date, etc. A birth certificate might help as well. End of story.

Is that unfair? The Obama produced a birth certificate in response to vile rumors about his birth. See it here [scroll through these negative rumors].

That the McCain'ts and Palinists threw the children at the press as human shields and then blamed the press and Obamans for doing so is callously cynical, especially sense they know the Obama has declared the children off limits. But these are the same people who accused a black man of playing the race card. Time for the media to stop cleaning up for these poilticians. See if McCain's candidacy will survive honest accounts of his temper, his gambling, and his womanizing. See if Ms. Lipstick can do more than behave like a high school student council president programmed to lie about her opponents.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Republican Inversion

We're watching Ike bull across the Atlantic not Pitbull Hockey Mom.  Our Kate never has liked pit bulls with or without lipstick.  She finds them sneaky and unreliable, prone to unprovoked attack.  Ike, on the other hand, is a tightly wound category 4 0r 5 storm, exactly the kind we in South  Florida remember all to well. [Andrew, 1992, was a tightly wound 5 when it devastated this area.]

That said: The Republicans are attempting to invert their ticket, to pit the pitbull against the Obama, as if Sarah Palin were the Presidential nominee and McCain the after thought.  The ultimate goal is to keep the focus on personalities--Obama and Palin--and trust in the long habit of American racism.  McCain is happy to hide behind her and her family.  Note that Bristol pointedly was not baby sitting during the speech.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What To Say

I am rarely is dumbfounded by the lunacy and callous cynicism of politicians, especially Republican politicians--while sporting a healthy ego, the Obama manifests a refreshing lack of guile, not to be confused with naivete--but John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin to be his running mate, has once again reminded me that Buffon, not Darwin, was right about the direction of evolution. After a species comes into existence, it begins to devolve, that is to degenerate. That Sarah Palin is a featherweight goes without saying. That the politicians tripping over themselves to prove that Alaska is close to Russia are callously cynical and contemptuous of the American public is, likewise, a given. What John McCain means by calling her is "soulmate" is worth considering. The list goes on and on to reveal a petty, calculating, cynical, ambitious young politician who fits snugly into the anti-intellectual, hypocritical Republican party and is willing to put her family out front, as shields against criticism and sharp questioning.

But I think the question now is: What does it say about the courage, decency, and moral integrity of John McCain and Sarah Palin that they should hide behind a pregnant, unwed 17-year-old [apparent] high school drop-out and her "powermower," as they say in Bal-T-more, also an apparent high school drop-out? We're told that the child's pregnancy was announced to put the lie to nasty rumors spread by liberal bloggers that Sarah Palin's new son is really her grandson, that a planned private adoption was cancelled when it was suggested he had Down's Syndrome. Why was turning the daughter into a sacrificial lamb, into a human shield, the only way to do that? Put another way, if the soulmates, Sarah and John, really cared about protecting the child, they would never have brought her into the campaign.

Given McCain and his operatives are smart enough to have known what would happen when they did, the only explanation I can come up with is that Bristol Palin was exposed on purpose to shield her mother and McCain from more substantive charges of incompetence. The Obama stated clearly and forcefully that the children of candidates should be off limits--and everyone claims to agree. But the McCain'ts keep sticking Bristol Palin stage center, most recently by bringing her 'powermower' to St. Paul for Sarah's nomination, after several publications declared him 'sexy' and he became an asset. He and Bristol will be wearing signs that say: 'Here we are, but if you try to talk to us or criticize Sarah Palin or John McCain for anything, including using us to their own ends, you will be invading our privacy. If you do that, you're lower than slime mold." Thus guarded, Palin-McCain will strut and fret, casting aspersions wherever they go.

On the other hand, they will be showing that the Republicans and their born-again "base" really do approve, admire, and respect teenage girls who become pregnant out of wedlock and the boys who impregnate them. They will be remaking the Republican party into the party of sex, drugs, rock-n-roll.