Monday, September 29, 2008

Why Vote? The Candidates Don't. reports that McCain and Obama may both skip the vote on the bailout. The article says that Obama hasn't cast a vote in the Senate since July, and McCain has skipped all votes since March. According the the voter guide prepared by Project VoteSmart Obama missed 6 of the 17, or around 30% of the votes they considered significant and McCain missed a whopping 9 of the 17 - or almost 50%.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

2 Views of Sarah Palin

Kirsten Powers

"Since they didn't know anything about her, they started making things up. Anything that fit the caricature of a right-wing hypocrite was thrown up with, seemingly, no fact-checking.

They said she opposes contraception, when she said in a campaign debate that she is pro-contraception. They said she cut funding for pregnant teens, when she provided a massive funding hike.

They accused her of cutting funding for mentally disabled children, when she raised it 175 percent over the former administration. She was said to have been a member of the wacky Alaska Independence Party; The New York Times had to run a retraction."

Deepak Chopra

"Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.” The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness."


Friday, September 5, 2008

Both Campaigns Raking in the Dough


"John McCain's campaign expects to leave the Republican National Convention with $200 million in the bank and be able to match the Democrats' spending in the next two months, an aide said.

...Obama, 47, has raised more than $400 million for his presidential campaign. Since clinching the nomination in June, he has raised about $80 million a month for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

His fundraising goal, if met, may mean $100 million more to spend on the campaign than the Republicans."

Imagine if the campaigns spent $50 million dollars each and the rest of the money went to teach civics in the schools. That might be a real contribution to better government.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Reflection on a Potential McCain Administration

The Palin controversies point to something much more important than her daughter being pregnant. They indicate that John McCain, under pressure from social conservatives made an immensely important decision - who will be President, if he's elected, and something happens to him - in haste, and without full knowledge or preparation. The NY Times is reporting an almost nonexistant vetting of Palin.

"Representative Gail Phillips, a Republican and former speaker of the State House, said the widespread surprise in Alaska when Ms. Palin was named to the ticket made her wonder how intensively the McCain campaign had vetted her.

'I started calling around and asking, and I have not been able to find one person that was called,” Ms. Phillips said. 'I called 30 to 40 people, political leaders, business leaders, community leaders. Not one of them had heard. Alaska is a very small community, we know people all over, but I haven’t found anybody who was asked anything.' "

We've all seen in Iraq that rushed decisions made under pressure from certain segments of a president's team can have disastrous consequences.