Socialism, Taxes, and Sarah Palin’s Wardrobe Malfunction

If It’s Friday, It Must Mean Leftovers Again!

About Your Hero Teddy Roosevelt, Senator McCain

Never let it be said that I like to go taking away people’s lollipops or anything like that, but I feel that it is my civic duty to point something out to the esteemed senator from Arizona since he has developed this affinity for the S word, you know, SOCIALIST. Senator McCain has said on numerous occasions that his hero is Teddy Roosevelt, even though he mangled TR’s most famous quote, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive who was known as a trust buster and believed in regulation. He was also the youngest president to take office at that time—only 42 years old. He was the first U.S. president to call for universal health care and national health insurance, and he was a strong conservationist. Roosevelt himself admits that he was often called a socialist:

Because of things I have done on behalf of justice to the workingman, I have often been called a Socialist. Usually I have not taken the trouble even to notice the epithet. … Moreover, I know that many American Socialists are high-minded and honorable citizens, who in reality are merely radical social reformers. They are opposed to the brutalities and industrial injustices which we see everywhere about us.

Roosevelt went on to make the distinction that many people who were called socialists were actually just people who were social reformers.

I find it interesting that this young man with such far-reaching ideas went on to become what many agree one of our better presidents, first as a Republican and then as a progressive who believed in graduated income tax. If you are interested in a really good read on what Teddy Roosevelt in a speech on New Nationalism in 1910 that is eerily reminiscent of what is going on today, go to this link: http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=501

It’s deja vu all over again.

“The Amendment Before the Senate is a Very Simple One”

This was John McCain speaking to the Senate in 1993 on the use of campaign funding for purchases of things such as clothing:  “It restricts the use of campaign funds for inherently personal purposes. The amendment would restrict individuals from using campaign funds for such things as home mortgage payments, clothing purchases  . . . and vacations or other trips that are non campaign in nature.”

Um, Senator, that was actually a pretty good proposal. What happened? Did the barracuda hypnotize you into believing that Needless Markup was a campaign stop?

So Senator McCain, any comment on $49,425.74 from Saks Fifth Avenue? Or how about that $75,062.63 shopping spree in early September? (wow, that’s a lot of black boots and a great leather coat) . . . Would you care to comment on $4,716.49 on hair and makeup expenditures in September? Or those September payments to Barney’s New York ($789.72) and Bloomingdale’s New York ($5,102.71). Actually, there is one line item to which I cannot take exception since I have been calling for the sprucing up of the Todder since day one, and that is the $4,902.45 that was spent in early September at Atelier, a high-class shopping destination for men. (I have noticed that Todders is wearing more suits and ties; good on you, Todders old boy).

But all of this shopping leaves me vicariously tired and more than a little envious, and, I have to say, quite puzzled. After all, if the campaign paid for this, does this mean that all of those wonderful people who sent in contributions to support the McCain campaign actually footed the bill for the outfitting of the Palin family? Hmmmm.

Do you think that those folks at home might be a little miffed by this news? After all, I know that if my little contributions to the Obama campaign had gone to buy the Senator a new pair of Ferragamo shoes instead of more yard signs, I might be just a wee bit put out, but then, I’m a Democrat and not a Republican, so maybe I really do think differently. Maybe Republican campaign contributors don’t mind that their money went towards buying one of the Palin daughters a Louis Vuitton purse, because, after all, isn’t that what all daughters on the campaign trail traveling illegally on the State of Alaska’s money are carrying? What do I know?

But, as a campaign spokeswoman said, all of the clothing will be donated to charity after the campaign. Um, okay. I cannot wait to see what happens when some underling comes to take away the clothes from the governator. That, my friends, will be worth the price of admission.

Sneaky, Sneaky, Sarah P.

I almost missed this on the interview that the governor and Senator McCain had on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. When pressed on the topic of terrorism, Governor Palin would not commit on whether or not bombing abortion clinics was domestic terrorism. She just kept repeating that what Bill Ayers did was domestic terrorism. She couched her answer very well by saying that anyone who threatens “innocent lives” is a terrorist, which is standard rhetoric for a pro-lifer. The threat to innocent lives in this case would be the actual abortion clinic. However, much to Palin’s chagrin, McCain did clarify quickly in a pass by saying that he did not condone bombing of anything, including abortion clinics.

Oooh, and don’t ask her if she’s a feminist either. I swear she twitched at that question. Why yes, she’s for equal rights, and all of that, dontcha know, but a feminist? She’s not a lesbian, gosh darn it, and she shaves her legs. What are you thinking, Mr. Brian Williams? Ahem.

What Qualifies as Experience?

In that same interview, John McCain brought up the Cuban Missile Crisis as proof that he has “been tested” on the world stage when it comes to dealing with international crises. During the CMC, McCain was a fighter pilot; his role? He was sitting in the cockpit of his jet on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise. He was awaiting orders. Now, I do not mean in any way to diminish his role as a fighter pilot; however, awaiting orders during the missile crisis while President Kennedy and his advisors were going toe-to-toe with Nikita Kruschev is hardly being directly involved in the negotiations to avert the crisis.

Maybe what McCain did learn from this crisis is that by being cool-headed and listening to your advisors, you can avert a national disaster and prevent a nuclear war. Maybe what Sarah Palin learned, in all of her vast reading is that it takes more than a nice suit and good shoes to have grace under fire. Kennedy, after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, had to have the courage of his convictions in the CMC. He had to make decisions with little time, and he had to second guess his opponent. He also had to go against the advice of many of his senior advisors based on what amounted to a pretty good hunch.

I’m sorry, but I just simply do not feel good about trusting my future to a woman who truly believes in an America full of us and thems. Her hunches would be more frightening than a tempest in a teapot. And John McCain has been standing on his record as a POW for so long that he no longer sees reality clearly. The man is a demagogue. Together, Palin and McCain scare the bejeezus out of me. Truly.  Talk about being tested within a year to see how well they hold up in a crisis . . . now that’s a mortifying proposition.

More later. Peace.

Joe the Plumber? Really?

Presidential Debate 3: The Game Changer

Just Who is Joe the Plumber?

This man got 21 mentions by John McCain and 4 from Barack Obama. It was almost farcical. I mean really. I almost snorted Pepsi up my nose when Obama turned to the camera and said with a straight face that he was talking to Joe, too. I know that when McCain gets a phrase under his belt, he just cannot let it go (e.g., “My friends” used 22 times in the last debate), but the promises that McCain was making to Joe tonight made me wish, just for a moment, that I could change my gender and career because, gee golly dontcha know, Joe is going to get a lot from the Senator if he makes it to the White House.

For the record, Senator McCain, I really DO want to spread the wealth around. I’ve been waiting around since Reaganomics was first implemented for that trickle down effect to trickle down to me, and it still hasn’t happened, so how about spreading the wealth around to some people who are really hurting. I nominate our household for the first round of spreading. Seriously. Here we are. Go ahead. Use a backhoe.

And that comment about not taxing anyone? Isn’t that just plain stoo-pid? Hello? Aren’t we in an economic crisis, which means that we need an influx of capital, and isn’t money from taxes capital going into the system? And don’t give me that cutting the capital gains tax line. Republicans have been hauling that out every year since Bush I, and the only people with substantial capital gains have more than 7 zeroes in their incomes, and hey, they don’t need tax breaks.

Let’s Talk About the Bad Stuff

Ooh, now I know why we haven’t put the two candidates at the same table before. It’s scary to have a close-up of John McCain. Have you ever looked into his eyes? Kind of like looking at a shark’s eyes—black and soul-less. And how about the rolling of the eyes and smirking when Obama was talking? Interrupting? Snarky. Naughty, naughty.

But putting the candidates in proximity was perfect for making them talk about Bill Ayers and ACORN. Let’s put it out their and see who blinks first. I believe that McCain was the one who said, “I don’t care about an old washed up terrorist.” Perhaps the senator should put that in a memo and distribute it to his surrogates, especially his pet pit bull. Nevertheless, the always smooth Obama was ready and answered the charges on Ayers and ACORN. However, I really wish that he had thrown the fact that John McCain, in March of 2006, headlined an ACORN event in Florida.

Nevertheless, my blood pressure soared when McCain had the audacity to say that he has “repudiated every time someone has been out of line whether they were in his campaign or not.” Can we all say liar, liar, pants on fire? And ooh, McCain’s feelings were hurt about what Representative John Lewis had to say regarding the dirty politics going on in the McCain camp. Obama responded by bringing up the point that people at the rallies were saying “terrorist” and “kill him.” To which McCain said that he is proud of the people who come to his rallies and there are just a few fringe elements out there.

Aw. Why Didn’t You Go There?

Now strategically, I understand why Obama didn’t go there when Bob Schieffer asked the candidates about their opponent’s running mates, the better part of valor and all of that. But was it my imagination or did I see just the faintest twinkle in his eye as he thought about it for a nano second, just a passing moment in which he thought, why not? But the statesman in him held him back and he gave a responsible, respectful answer when you know he wanted to say, “Are you kidding me? Seriously? I wouldn’t let that woman run my sprinkler system.” At least, that’s what I imagine he wanted to say. But didn’t. Because he’s a lot nicer than I am. But you know that Michelle was thinking it.

Seriously, Now.

Senator McCain, Trig Palin has Down’s Syndrome, not Autism. If you are going to exploit a special needs child, at least get the damned facts straight. Geez.

And by the way, the most disappointing statistic of which we need to be ashamed as a developed nation: U.S. ranks 29th in the world for infant mortality even though we are supposed to have the best health care. As 29th, we tie with Slovakia  and Poland, but lag behind Cuba. Singapore is first, and the Czech Republic is 8th. This is truly an abominable statistic, yet no one seems to be outraged. WHY NOT????????????

Tired now. More later . . .

Enough With the Mudslinging

When You’ve Got Nowhere To Go But Down

Hoisted on His Own Petard

John McCain seems to have returned to sanity, or at least to have had a brush with his own decency, but it may be too late to save his campaign, which is sinking as quickly as the stock market. At a town hall meeting in Lakeville, Minnesota on Friday, McCain found himself in the unusual position of actually defending Barack Obama not once but twice as members in the audience made claims against the Democratic candidate.

One man said that he was afraid to raise his unborn child in a country run by a President Obama, and another woman actually openly declared that Obama is an Arab. McCain, obviously uncomfortable by both declarations, said to his supporters, “I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States,” and was promptly booed by the crowd. As to the woman who declared Obama to be an Arab, McCain, took the microphone away, and quickly shook his head no repeatedly. “No, ma’am. No, ma’am,” McCain said. “He’s a decent family man, a citizen who I just happen to have serious differences with on fundamental questions.”

This is the McCain I have seen before, the one who Joe Biden respects. It’s obvious that McCain has realized that he has started a fire (or someone in his campaign has) that is running out of control, and it is leaving a very bad taste in his mouth (apologies for the mixed metaphor). Can he salvage the situation? Unless he can muzzle Sarah Palin, I don’t think so. She enjoys her role as pit bull too much, and there is something afoot in these crowds, a mob mentality that is truly frightening, and I’m not being sarcastic here. For everyone’s sake, I hope that the Secret Service is being just as paranoid as I am, because this is the type of wildfire that makes loonies want to do something “for the good of the country.”

Speaking of Which

I can’t hold my tongue any longer on this whole William Ayers matter. Palin truly is like a pit bull with lipstick. Once her jaws lock onto something, they simply will not disengage. Ayers is 64 years old, almost a contemporary of John McCain, certainly not a contemporary of Barack Obama. Obama and Ayers served together for three years on The Woods Fund of Chicago, an anti-poverty foundation. Obama joined in 1993 and attended a dozen of the quarterly meetings with Ayers between 1993 and 2002, when Obama left his position on the board. Ayers and Obama also appeared together on a University of Chicago panel on juvenile justice in 1997 and another academic panel in 2002, which was sponsored by the Chicago Public Library.

Now, when Bill Ayers was at the height of his political radicalism in the late 60’s and early 70’s as part of the SDS and then as part of the more radical Weathermen, Obama was just a child. It was a tumultuous time in American history. The Viet Nam war was hugely unpopular, and protesting was prevalent and towards the end, violent. Ayers, and his wife Bernadine Dohrn were key players in this violence, bombing the New York City police headquarters, the U.S. Capitol, and the Pentagon in protest of what they viewed as a hugely unjust war.

The couple eventually turned themselves in to authorities in 1980, and both have apologized for their actions. However, in an interview in 2000, Ayers was quoted as saying that he didn’t “regret setting the bombs.” Ayers subsequently said that his words were distorted and that he had no regrets about trying to stop the United States’ war efforts in Viet Nam and felt that the country as a whole could have done more, not that they could have set more bombs.

Today, Ayers is currently a distinguished professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education. Ayers has earned the support of a number of prominent Chicagoans, including Mayor Daley. Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman suggests that while Obama was “justly criticized for his ties” to Ayers, that connection should be matched by equal coverage of John McCain’s association with infamous Watergate criminal, G. Gordon Liddy, who, by the way, is certifiably whacko and a textbook case of a domestic terrorist if there ever was one. (After the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, Liddy advised listeners of his radio show: “Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they’re going to be wearing bulletproof vests. … Kill the sons of bitches.”) But that’s just my opinion, of course.

The Peanut Gallery

Cindy McCain

Would someone please tell Cindy McCain to ease up on the Botox? I understand that she has suffered a recent loss of her half-sister, so I won’t be too unkind; however, if she is going to be one of her husband’s pit bulls, then she needs to leave her hair down so that her face at least looks as if it still has the ability to move from the eyebrows up. Oh, and if she’s going to criticize Obama for not passing a bill to fund the troops (which he later passed), she should make sure that she remembers that her husband also didn’t pass a similar bill, which should have made her blood run similarly cold (but maybe she just couldn’t feel it).

And someone please tell Michelle Obama to start wearing suits instead of short-sleeved dresses to important events. It matters. I know that it shouldn’t, but it does. She looked great when she showed up for the The Jon Stewart show, so why doesn’t she wear something similar for the debates? Future first ladies are scrutinized for the most bizarre things. Tim Gunn, where are you?

Did everyone get a chance to see the (supposed) Palin home pictures that are making their way around the Internet? I sure hope so. Hockey mom in ultra mini skirt and ***k me heels does not look like conservative fundamentalist, looks more like swinger ready to exchange car keys. All of the teenagers have bottles of booze in various levels of depletion. Yep, bless their hearts, those Palins are just down home folks, dontcha know? Probably wanted to get rid of the trooper brother-in-law so they wouldn’t get any DUI’s (or should I say more DUI’s, Todder?). Excellent stuff that Photoshop.

On that note, just waiting for Wednesday night. I’ll be glued to MSNBC from 7 p.m. on . . .