Monday, October 29, 2012

Papists In Norman and Racists Everywhere

It was a horrible tableau. Crazed Papists flooded into the city of Norman and Memorial Stadium, swilling gallons of beer and Irish whiskey. The protestant resistance began drinking early themselves. As ESPN's "Gameday" aired Saturday morning, many of the onlookers were all ready chugging down sixteen ounce cans of Budweiser a full ten hours before kickoff. By early afternoon huge numbers of people were slobbering and speaking in tongues. The weak were carted away in straight jackets, only the strong survived

When it was over Notre Dame had once again crushed the hopes and dreams of Oklahoma fans everywhere. As the clock wound down in the fourth quarter hundreds of Anglicans chose the "Saipan Option" and threw themselves from the upper deck rather than face the final outcome. Their screams of anguish, frustration, and sheer pain could be heard all the way to the heavenly gates, where St. Peter punched their tickets as he chanted, "Forevermore, forevermore." Yes, revulsion and despair doesn't even begin to describe what went down Saturday night. Even the moon appeared to be nothing more than a skull in the sky.

Meanwhile, in the real world, word came to us that the AP conducted a poll which shows that 51% of Americans are racially prejudiced when it comes to black people. In fact it is so endemic that the poll predicts president Obama could suffer a voting loss of as much as 2 percentage points just because of his race.

This probably explains the existence of John Sununu as a spokes dingo for the Romney campaign. Earlier in the race Sununu told a crowd that Obama needed to "learn how to be an American." This weekend, after General, former secretary of the State, and republican, Colin Powell endorsed the president, Sununu claimed it was simply because both men were black.

On the stump in Ohio candidate Romney harangued a crowd with these words: "Mr. President take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago." Yes, lets paint that portrait of the angry black man who is out to make all of us white people pay for injustices past and present. If you think that comment isn't geared to that end I hope you enjoy waiting out in a field for the great pumpkin Wednesday night.

Well what should we expect from a guy who is a member of a church that until 1978 excluded black people from its priesthood. Especially one who needs every redneck vote he can lay his bony fingers on.

Many have known from the very beginning the tea party movement was racist at its dark and angry heart. The posters and campaign signs at their rallies were replete with images of witch doctors, stylized and grotesque caricatures of African tribesmen, and nooses. No, you don't do that sort of thing unless you think Jim Crow was a great idea and Lester Maddox was a true humanitarian.

So now the truth is out, but as with everything negative the conservative edge will just claim it is another liberal conspiracy. That there is no truth to the numbers at all. It isn't Obama's race that drives their rage, it is his policies. Sell that ice to an Eskimo, pal. It doesn't play that way to anyone who has ever listened to the old white guys talking about this president among themselves over cigars. Yes, in those smoke filled lounges things get ugly pretty quickly when it comes to the current commander in chief.

There is a week to go and it is still too close to call. However we have learned two things the past couple of days. One, racism is now a statistical reality, confirming what everyone should have known to begin with. Two, I still don't like Notre Dame.

Good thing I have a pitcher of Manhattans cooling in the refrigerator. Sometimes complete decompression is necessary.

sic vita est

10-29-12

Friday, October 26, 2012

White Noise and Notre Dame

It is clear, cold, and windy here on the southern plains this Friday, October 26th, 2012. There were clouds early in the day, but they have been chased away and now the sky is relentlessly blue.

In other parts of the country the presidential campaign rages on. It is a desperate struggle waged by increasingly bellicose candidates, frenzied staffs, and peppered with wild eyed partisan pundits who screech like a swirling flock of angry starlings. A variety of polls offer conflicting numbers, proving perhaps that the country has become so irrevocably divided that even statisticians are willing to twist facts to suit their own ends.

A cable outlet is showing a court hearing in Florida. George Zimmerman is sitting in a chair at the defense table staring directly ahead, rarely blinking, seemingly in a grim trance. The prosecution and defense are arguing about the amount of information that should be released to the public and accusing each other of conducting  pre trial arguments in the court of public opinion. They are droning on and on. Listening to them is rather like hearing someone explain the millimeter by millimeter variances of the surface of a steel screw. There are no Perry Masons and Clarence Darrow is long gone. What we have left are hack politicians and barely articulate ambulance chasers.

In Oklahoma right now, for at least many hundreds of thousands of people, all that stuff is just white noise, a meaningless hum of static that no one pays attention to.

Yes to many in this wind whipped, dusty, state, especially to those of us of a certain age, who attended the University of Oklahoma, there is only one thing that matters at the moment. That is that Notre Dame's football team is in town for a game tomorrow night.

When Oklahoma and Notre Dame take the field none of the young men on either side of the ball will have a sense of the history or how important this contest is to old fucks like myself.

Oklahoma and Notre Dame are two of the traditional powers of the college sport. They are counted among a dozen or so schools who make up the truly elite of the game. In addition the two teams rarely meet.

The last time The Fighting Irish were in Norman for a game I was 16. When I was 7 they defeated Oklahoma at home to end the Sooner's 47 game winning streak, a record which stands to this day. The one and only time OU beat Notre Dame I was 5 years old. This January I turn 63.

No, the young guns can't possibly grasp what this contest means to someone who has spent 55 years waiting to get back at those sonsofbitches for that 1957 game.

I used to hate Notre Dame, even more than I despise the buffoons in orange we play every year. That has mellowed now. I recognize them as a class operation and as steeped in tradition, if not more so, than OU. I can identify with that and even admire it. Tomorrow before the game I will welcome their fans to Norman, shake their hands, maybe even have a drink or a beer with them.

Then I will enter the stadium and with 83,000 other loons, drunks, and outright psychopaths I will scream for their heads to be delivered to me on a plate. Such is the nature of the game and the beast. Simply put, I don't have another 55 years to wait.


victoria aut mors

10-26-12

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Coulter, Palin, Trump and Public Masturbation

I have a friend who likes to talk about the egos of politicians and how run amok they are. He is especially disdainful, not to mention wary, of all those who seek statewide and national offices. He is convinced, rightly or wrongly, that the people who campaign for our votes have a terribly warped picture of themselves and it all began when they were elected to student councils during their high school years. Sometimes I tend to think he is right. Then I remind myself this is a guy who is convinced some woman guru from India is the embodiment of Christ on earth: that she possesses the same divine powers and receives the exact blessings from God that Jesus of Nazareth did.

Well we're all a bit complicated and so is the world, but I digress.

We're talking about egos here.

Ann Coulter certainly has one. She loves to spew absolutely hateful things she knows people will react violently too. The latest, of course, is the whole "R" word thing. A few decades ago if she'd said such a thing about a sitting president her career would be over. No reputable news organization would allow her anywhere near a camera or print another word she says. Unfortunately in this day and age reputable journalism has gone the way of the Dodo and now she is the talk of the net and cable news. Her book sales will probably increase. Some awful evangelical college will no doubt invite her to speak at their graduation ceremony, after which the dean of the school of creationism will try to nail her bony ass in a cheap motel room.

Sarah Palin, late of the failed John McCain campaign, SNL parodies, and reality TV continues to run around screaming "look at me, look at me!" Her comments about the president's "shuck and jive shtick" crossed a couple of ethnic border lines. A few people reacted negatively, angrily, but most of us simply yawned and went straight to the sports page.

Then, finally, there is the sad case of Donald Trump. Lately he had been cryptically claiming he had huge news that would alter the outcome of the election. He showed up on TV the other day, shouting at the camera. His startling news was a nothing more than a cheap challenge. He dared the president to disclose his college transcript and passport application. Trump says if the president will do it he will donate $5 million to a charity of Obama's choice. One gets the impression brother Trump has just one degree of separation from the Shamwow sales guy.

What we have here are three examples of runaway egos my friend speaks so derisively of. With less than two weeks to go before the election Coulter, Palin and Trump have the temerity to think they can, number one, influence the outcome and number two remain relevant on the national scene. The second probably more important to them than the first.

Yes, this isn't about Obama and Romney. It isn't about the immediate future of the United States of America. It is all about them. "I'm important," they are shouting. "I'm worth listening to."

Right.

Well, okay, I suppose someone might actually listen, but that someone isn't going to vote for Barack Obama anyway. Quite honestly if any of them are delusional enough to think they have influenced even one independent, or undecided voter, they need to be on serious meds, or already are.

What we have here are two trailer park Barbies who might, or might not be dropping large doses of meth and a narcissistic multi-millionaire who is so enamored with himself that there probably isn't an inch of wall space in his home that isn't holding a mirror.

Will someone please tell these clowns we're all tired of them masturbating in front of us. As with all things pornographic it gets old quickly. Besides, none of them are that good looking to begin with.

10-25-12



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ann Coulter, Special Olympians, and The Rabid Hyenas Next Door

Here is what Ann Coulter thought of the third presidential debate. She tweeted, "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard."

More than just a few people became angry about this. Not because her spin on the debate was a desperate excuse for her boy's poor showing, but because she used the hateful word "retard."

In fact John Stephens, a Special Olympian with Down syndrome wrote her an open letter that said, "You aren't dumb and you aren't shallow. So why are you continually using the "R" word as an insult. No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much. Come join us some day at the Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged."

Obviously young Mr. Stephens is a deeply intelligent, kind, and loving human being. Unfortunately he is benignly naive. First he is wrong about Ms. Coulter not being dumb and shallow. She can string some words together, most of them vile and filled with crude lies and everything she does is calculated to draw attention to herself. Those are pretty much the definitions of dumb and shallow. He also assumes she has a heart, which of course, she doesn't.

John, you aren't dealing with a fellow, thinking, human being here. Oh, she looks vaguely human in an anorexic, vampiric, sort of way and I assume she sleeps like we do. I'm not sure what she eats however, probably body parts gleaned from local morgues, but it is okay because all the evidence indicates she sticks her finger down her throat after every feeding.

Ms. Coulter didn't take long to prove my theories regarding her mental and physical beings. Her response to the outrage and criticisms of her original statement was another tweet. It read, "The only people who will be offended are too retarded to understand it."

And there you have it. Next stop for Ms. Coulter is the "N" word, one she has probably used in private multiple times when referring to the president of the United States.

Elsewhere, in Indiana republican senate candidate, Richard Mourdock had this to say when it came to abortion. "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is a gift from God and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen."

Rapists everywhere rejoice! You have just been given an excuse and a defense by brother Mourdock. All you have to say now is that God intended it to happen. Luckily for the rest of us the senator wanna be won't be on the bench or in the jury box when that ungainly plea is made.

Obviously Mr. Mourdock is at odds with fellow republican senate candidate, Todd Akin. Mr. Akin, of Missouri, is the grotesque clown who claims that in case of "legitimate rape" women's bodies have defense mechanisms that prevent pregnancies. Well perhaps Mourdock was referencing illegitimate rapes. One can never be too sure when these eloquent statesmen go off on issues of reproduction, God's greater plan, and women's health.

Mitt Romney's campaign quickly distanced themselves from ol' Mourdock just as they did from Akin. Yes, Mitt, you can run but you can't hide. You've endorsed this loon and in fact cut a TV ad for him. You can say you disagree with him, but there is your mug on television urging Indianans to vote for him. Now tell me again why you think you are trailing the president among women voters.

These are the monsters that are haunting the halls of the republican party. They're the people Mitt Romney is going to have to count on for support if he moves into the white house and they are elected to the senate. They're going to be his partners in governing America. They are going to help confirm or deny seats on the supreme court and federal judge ships throughout the land. All the while Ann Coulter will be leading cheers on the sideline.

Even as I type, Richard Mourdock is claiming his words were "twisted and taken out of context." Right. Well you have to say something when your shit blows back in your face don't you.

Welcome to the tea party dominated GOP. Or as I like to refer to it, the "Chock Full 'o Nuts" party. I'd ask where they find all these rabid hyenas, but I'm afraid they'd tell me right next door. And, frighteningly, they would probably be right.


10-24-12

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obama Wins the Battle, But the War is Still in Doubt

I suppose there are a ton of sports metaphors out there that could be used to describe last night's presidential debate. I'm not sure I want to drag any out though. Early on it became painfully obvious that Mitt Romney wasn't there to win any awards, or even the debate itself. He was just doing his best not to fuck up.

There were no more attempts to exploit the tragedy in Libya. That one burned him so badly in the second debate he ran from the topic yesterday like a rabbit who has just seen a wolf coming over a hill. In fact by the night's end it was hard to tell exactly what Mitt would do differently from President Obama when it comes to foreign policy. He sounded more like Obama's vice president than his opponent.

The one zinger came immediately after the Mittster lamented the fact the U.S. Navy now has fewer ships than it did in 1917. Obama responded with the sarcasm of a professor who is dealing with a complete dolt and is tired of doing so. "We also have fewer horses and bayonets," he said. The president went on to point out that the United States now has ships that "planes can actually land on, they're called aircraft carriers." After that Romney did everything in his power to redirect the conversation to the economy.

Mr. Romney what about the situation in Lower Slobovia? "Well Bob, as I was saying the other day the president has cost this country thousands of jobs which contributes to the increasing internal tensions within Lower Slobovia. Now if I'm elected I'll create more jobs, yada, yada, yada."

CBS's instant poll of undecided voters showed that 53% of them thought the president won the debate, while only 23% thought Mr. Romney did. The numbers were closer in the CNN poll. Obama won 48% to 40%. CNN's pollsters also found that 59% of those asked thought the president did better than expected.

This is all fine and good for Barak Obama, but I haven't seen the debate's ratings. You might beat the other guy like a gong for an hour and a half, but if everyone is watching the Bears-Lions game it doesn't do you a lot of good.

And the truth is millions of people in this country, especially those struggling economically, don't give a rat's ass about foreign policy. The general attitude among the dwindling blue collar work force when it comes to international crises is something along the lines of, "I don't care, drop some bombs on the bastards, then tell me when I'm getting my job back." The subtle nuances of diplomacy are are an unaffordable luxury when you're standing in the unemployment line.

The simple fact is that last night's debate probably had the least affect on the electorate of the three held. Mitt knew it and so did Obama. That is why he was swinging away so hard. He needed a knock out punch (sorry, there is that sports metaphor) to clearly prove the governor is unfit to be commander in chief. He needed a monumental meltdown on Romney's part that would play on the cable news outlets and over the net for days.That didn't happen. Obama won, but Mitt, while suffering a pummeling, made sure he didn't take himself out of the race.

So things are still too close to call and in the words of James Carville, "Its the economy, stupid." For the average American its always been that way and always will be.

Round three to Obama, but will it be enough? We'll know in two weeks.

10-23-12

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Last Debate, Polls, and Republican Doublethink

So here we are. It is October 22 of the year of our Lord 2012. Tonight, President Barak Obama and former governor Mitt Romney will square off in the final debate of this campaign. The election is a mere fifteen days away, although early voting is taking place in more than a few states. No one in either camp will sleep for the next two weeks with the possible exception of the candidates themselves and even then the word nap will probably better describe their periods of rest.

The polls are a mish mash of confusing statistics and numbers that are swirling about in crazed and dizzying arcs. Some have Obama in the lead while others directly contradict those results. As with anything it depends on who you ask. If you were to poll this household, the president would be ahead 100% to nil. It is a shocking number that portends a landslide of epic and unseen proportions. Unfortunately my wife and I don't constitute a fair sampling of Oklahomans who will trudge to the polls two weeks from tomorrow so the results are a tad skewed.

Indeed it is the same everywhere. GOP operatives are pointing to their man closing the gap among Hispanic voters in Florida, but according to one report the Hispanics they actually asked were primarily of Cuban descent. The Cuban-American  community hasn't voted for a democrat since the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion. A more realistic picture was painted by a NBC/WSJ/Telemundo poll that shows the president still holding a 45 point lead over Mr. Romney among that demographic.

Elsewhere things are down to the wire. CNN did a poll of polls, of all things, in Ohio which shows Obama ahead by 3%. Things aren't quite as tight for the president in Pennsylvania. The problem there is that you don't know who is actually going to show up to vote considering the relentless campaign of intimidation and mis-information waged by the local republican establishment.

Tonight's debate is supposed to center on foreign policy which, in theory, should favor the president. However, there is no telling what absolute bullshit Romney is willing to spew. There will be no Candy Crowley there to remind him of what actually has transpired the last four years. Before it is over Mitt could well be claiming Bin Laden is really alive, lounging on a beach in Fiji and the members of Seal Team Six were in truth stunt men from the set of "The A Team." I mean lets face it, the republicans have proven themselves time and again to be perfectly capable of creating an alternative universe that dovetails quite nicely into their campaign strategy and narrative while avoiding reality altogether. If Barak Obama were to stand in the bright sunshine and say it is noon, they would screech about left wing media shills and claim it is midnight. George Orwell coined the words newspeak and doublethink to describe such nonsense. It has taken the GOP nearly three decades beyond 1984 to begin to practice both on a day to day basis. Not even video evidence to the contrary budges them from their hallucinations. If something doesn't fit their agenda it is an outright lie and the product of a vast liberal conspiracy.

One major problem both candidates will face tonight is voter overload. For a lot of Americans, especially those who have all ready made up their minds, or those who simply loathe politics in general, this cascade of rhetoric and bomb bast is simply becoming too much. Look for huge numbers of TVs to be turned not to the debate, but either the Bears-Lions NFL game, or the St. Louis-San Francisco playoff contest.

Yes, lets get down to the important issues here. Will the Cardinals blow a three game to one advantage and will the Bears cover the six point spread? After all, bookies need our love and support too. And besides those two assholes are wearing us all out.

One thing is certain. If do you choose not to watch, you'll be able to tell if Obama cleans brother Romney's clock tomorrow by how loudly people like Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the conservative radio hosts screech that the fix was in. That everyone from the moderator to the camera operators were flaming communists. The yahoos at FOX will simply employ the previously mentioned newspeak/doublespeak process. No matter what is said they'll claim Romney not only won, but was utterly correct when he named the Shah of Iran as America's number one enemy. You see, even dead guys pose a threat to our way of life.

The older I get the less tolerant I am of these right wing assholes. Maybe it is the arthritis, or the fact I've seen them morph into something so ritualistically evil that the word coven seems passive and quaint.

Whatever the case I suppose I'm stuck with the bastards. You can say many things about them, but you certainly can't get rid of them. In the end they'll probably outlast the cockroaches.

It is down to a fortnight. The end, as they say, is near. Watch out for flying chairs.

10-22-12

Friday, October 19, 2012

Extortion, Lies, and Opportunism: The GOP Game Plan

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

Big Bill Shakespeare.



Well we're not in Denmark any more, Toto, but things have turned decidedly rotten. During a June sixth conference call to "small business owners" Mitt Romney had this to say, "I hope you make clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their jobs and their future in the upcoming elections."

David Siegel, the head of Westgate Resorts, was the first to act on this sage advice. He sent his 7,000 employees an email telling them if President Obama was reelected he would either drastically downsize his company, or close it altogether thereby laying most if not all of them off. When questioned about the email he responded, "I can't tell anyone to vote. (note he didn't say, I can't tell anyone how to vote) I just want my employees to be educated on what could happen to their future if the wrong person is elected."

Recently brothers David and Charles Koch of Wichita, Kansas had their corporate president Dave Robertson send out "voter information packets" to 45,000 employees of their Georgia Pacific subsidiary. A cover letter warns the workers that, "Many of our 50,000 employees and contractors may suffer the consequences" if the president is reelected as well as other democrats who are running in this cycle. The packet includes a list of conservative candidates that have been endorsed by the company's political action committee. It also includes a pro Romney op-ed piece by David and an anti Obama rant by Charles.

ASG Software Solutions head Arthur Allen has done something similar with employees of that company.

The Federal Election Commission used to have laws that forbade bullshit like this. Unfortunately, thanks to the "Citizens United" decision by a politically active and conservative supreme court it now falls under the heading of free speech.

Well it certainly falls under the heading of something. Not just a few might think that something is known as extortion. When your boss tells you you're going to get canned if Obama, or anyone else is elected to office there really is no other word for it. It is rather like some guy named Rocco showing up at your door telling you that if you don't use the Corleone garbage collection service your business might accidentally burn down.

Yes, this is certainly evil nonsense. As is the continued republican efforts to suppress the vote in Pennsylvania. A court recently ruled the state's new voter ID law could not be enforced in this November's election That has not stopped TV ads from appearing in key cities telling voters that they must have voter ID's in order to cast a ballot. In some parts of the state billboards have popped up, some in Spanish, which say the same thing.

Obviously the party that is reportedly worried about some sort of socialist takeover that will end democracy as we know it, doesn't care much for the institution itself. In fact it has become painfully apparent that the current GOP believes in democracy only so long as it pertains to white anglo saxon protestants with a few pale catholics thrown in for diversity's sake.

In the mean time it turns out their candidate lied about soliciting the "binders" containing women's names that he bragged about during the last debate. The truth is the "binders" were given to both gubernatorial candidates in Massachusetts prior to the election and were not asked for by governor elect Mitt Romney after the fact. Not that he hired any of them anyway, but hey, why worry about a few details? To quote old Will once again, "He waxes desperate with imagination."

In addition it turns out that during the course of the infamous Boca Raton, 47% speech, we find Mr. Romney had this to say in regard to some sort of international incident. "If something of that nature happens I will work to take advantage of the opportunity." Well we have to give it to Mitt. He was true to his word on that one. After the tragedy in Libya he went straight to the political well within twenty-four hours.

I never really liked these ruthless bastards to begin with. However, this season the lies, rank political opportunism on the heels of an attack on an American consulate, and outright in your face voter intimidation tactics have taken me beyond that. We are faced with a party that not only wants to retain de facto white rule, but is willing to do anything short of gunning down opposing candidates to achieve that goal. And honestly, given what is going on now, even that sort of thing suddenly seems a real possibility.

They have turned the American election process into one, that if held in a third world country, would be monitored and condemned by any outside neutral observers. They, not the current president, have reduced it to a vile farce usually witnessed only in places like Venezuela and Iran.

If you want to know who the real threat to American democracy is look no further than the Republican National Committee and its keepers. They not only hate 47% of us, they will do anything they can to keep us from voting.

So much for freedom.

10-19-12

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Round Two Goes to Obama: Neck and Neck in the Final Stretch

Things got a little testy in Hempstead, NY last night. Mitt Romney arrived with his perfect hair and a self satisfied half smile, that one reserved for those who don't believe the rules apply to them. He stuck his formidable chin out and then took a couple of serious left hooks to it.

Yes, this wasn't the same unprepared Barak Obama who had showed up in Denver. This was the president of the United States of America and he was clearly ready to duke it out.

The former governor of Massachusetts quickly ignored the ground rules his people had agreed to and began to ask direct questions of the president. When Obama tried to answer those questions Romney used the traditional conservative debate tactic of talking louder and longer and ignoring the response, cutting it off whenever he could.

However the president wasn't taking any of his gruff. He drove home his points and began to highlight the Mitt's extreme fuzziness when it comes to details. In response to a question about inequality in pay and jobs for women the governor rambled on about when he was filling out his state cabinet he went to women's groups and received from them many names in "binders." What he didn't say is that he hired any of them and what he'd pay them if he did. In fact the whole binder comment has become the current joke du jur on the net, drawing scathingly sarcastic tweets.

Romney also pleaded ignorance about his investments in Chinese companies and asked Obama if he knew what companies his retirement portfolio had invested in. Obama seemed to ignore the question rather than coming back at the governor with an attack on Bain's investments when Romney ran the place. It was one of his few lapses, although some commentators lamented he didn't do a good enough job of connecting  Mitt to George W. Bush.

The whole night seemed to turn decidedly in the president's favor when Romney made a fool of himself on the issue of Libya. First he was painted as injecting politics into a tragedy he knew little of and of being unpresidential for doing so. Then came the coup de grace. Apparently unaware of Obama's statement calling the attack on the consulate an act of terror, the governor claimed Obama, in the immediate aftermath of the murders, failed to call it a terrorist attack. Obama pounced immediately. He confronted the governor with the falsehood, or to be charitable, misinformation, and told him he'd called it just that in a Rose Garden speech. Romney, thinking he'd caught Obama in lie repeatedly asked the president something along the lines of, "You're saying that you said that in the Rose Garden?" Obama advised him to read the transcript, but Romney kept droning on, repeating the question again and again. Finally the exasperated moderator, Candy Crowley had to tell him that the president had indeed said exactly that. As Mitt Romney turned from her and toward the camera he had a stunned look on his face. It was as if he'd just realized that he'd confused carbon monoxide with carbon dioxide and that trees don't require, or even like the former. He never recovered.

Obama got in the last shot. He finally called into play that whole "47% of Americans consider themselves victims and don't take responsibility for their lives" speech by Romney to his big dollar contributors. It wasn't a knockout punch, but it was a staggering blow and because time was up there could be no counter.

The CNN instant poll showed 46% of those surveyed felt the president won the debate as opposed to 39% who thought Romney did. A similar CBS poll called it 37% to 30% for Obama.

Barak Obama didn't win the election last night, but he certainly didn't lose it. In fact only the hard core conservative hacks on FOX will claim Romney came out ahead in that Hofstra University auditorium. Everyone else will know the truth. Round two went to the president.

There are less than three weeks and only one debate left to go. The word frantic won't even begin to describe the emotions and actions of both campaigns in the little time that remains. It is still too close to call. Both camps know it. Stand by for a media blitz the likes of which the world has never seen as desperate donors rise to their feet in the grandstands screaming at their respective jockeys to, "Use the whip man, for God's sake use the whip!"

10-17-12

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Single Moment Tonight

There are few single moments that I remember in presidential politics that have carried more weight than the debate that will occur tonight between Barak Obama and Mitt Romney. Thanks to his lackluster appearance in the last meeting the president has allowed this race to become closer than it ever should have been. In fact, if he screws the pooch tonight like he did last time, odds are he will become a one term chief executive.

Joe Biden did his job last week, despite what the hysterics on FOX would have you believe. He put the stated ideas and record of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on trial and he cooked the guy. However, Biden isn't going to win this election. No, this comes down to the man the electorate wants in the oval office, not some VP who will spend most of his time sitting around in the senate, or off on some good will tour to New Zealand.

The polls have tightened to the point that many now fall within the margin of error. Romney still trails in some key demographics, but he is whittling them down to manageable levels. He'll never carry the Latinos, or the African Americans, or in fact women voters of all colors. Be that as it may, if he can at least get closer, while increasing his edge with male Caucasians his wife can start picking out the new white house silverware fairly soon.

The feeling here is that Obama will lose Florida, North Carolina, and possibly Virginia. He will win Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Wisconsin. California is practically a given for him just as Texas, Oklahoma, and everything in the deep south is a given for Romney. As of today Obama leads in New Jersey 51% to 43%, despite the rather large presence of republican Governor Chris Christie. Michigan is too close to call and that leaves us with Ohio. No republican has ever won the white house without carrying Ohio. Look for everyone and their brother and sister to be pounding the pavement, making phone calls, and twisting arms in the Buckeye state for the next 21 days.

Tonight, in a town hall format, which favors Romney, Obama must go after what Romney has said and what he refuses to say. He needs to hammer on that 47%, the record of Bain Capital, the Massachusetts health plan that Romney sometimes brags about and many times runs away from. He needs to point out that Romney has been carefully vague about how he is going to initiate the miracle recovery while implementing the same bull shit policies that got us into this economic quagmire in the first place. He needs to do the math for those watching. He needs to prove to the middle class that Governor Romney is not only out of touch with them, but has the same regard for them that a butcher does for a herd of cattle.

You hate to say one thing is all or nothing in any political race, but tonight it approaches that for the president of the United States of America. The one debate remaining after tonight focuses on foreign policy. And quite honestly, if you're slapping burgers onto a grill in Ohio because your auto plant job is gone, you could give a rat's ass about foreign policy.

With only three weeks to go there is no time to recover from a second bad showing for this president. He painted himself into a corner and now he has to some out swinging, but under control. He has to charge what Mitt Romney cannot deny. Obama has to hound the governor mercilessly with his own words and deeds. If he does that the pendulum will swing back toward him. If he doesn't this election season could well end around midnight tonight.

10-16-12

Friday, October 12, 2012

Joe Wins but the Issue is Still in Doubt

And then the under card of the event went to Jumpin' Joe Biden.

This one was no slam dunk either, however. In fact at times Biden's act spun to the point that some might have wondered what sort of speed he was on. I mean look at the videos of it. There he is making wild hand gestures. More often than not he is wracked with giddy, almost uncontrollable laughter. Yes, these could well have been the tell tale signs of a man who, an hour prior to going on stage, dropped a Black Molly and chugged a large can of Red Bull.

Be that as it may, he still outperformed Congressman Paul Ryan, who at times eerily resembled an earnestly glum fruit bat. The vice president did what the president did not do. He took to heart Dick Nixon's old axiom, "charge what they can't deny." He dragged Ryan's ruthless ideas into the spotlight and hammered on them.

The only time Ryan seemed to take the offensive was when Lybia and the torched consulate came up. On every other front he was doing a not so great impression of Crockett manning the walls of the Alamo.

After the smoke cleared the immediate response poll taken by MSNBC of the twenty-five or so undecided voters left in the nation showed they thought Biden clearly won the match. In fact 50% said he did, while 31% thought Ryan was the winner, and 19% thought it was a tie.

Democrats everywhere are hoping this will put the brakes on the momentum that the Romney campaign gained from the first presidential debate. Whether it does or not remains to be seen. What it did do was provide Barak Obama with a blue print for next week. Go after the bastard hard and use his own proposed policies to expose him for the heartless vampire that he is.

On the downside Obama still has to perform. As anyone who has been around for any length of time can tell you vice presidential debates don't carry nearly the weight of the presidential dust ups. The prime example of that came in 1988 when Lloyd Benston exposed Dan Quayle as an utter idiot, a man completely unqualified to become the president of the United States on the heels of a tragedy. That November George Herbert Walker Bush kicked Michael Dukakis' ass, thus beginning the House of Bush reign in America.

Try as he might and at one point he was close, Joe Biden couldn't come up with that "You're no Jack Kennedy" moment. However even if he had this debate wasn't and isn't going to hand Barak Obama a win in a few weeks. It will re-energized those democrats who went into a serious funk after last week, so there are positives. But the hard truth remains that this election is Barak Obama's to win or lose and he is going to have to do it by himself.

Over to you, Mr. President. The ball, as they say, is in your court.

10-12-12
     

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

David Siegel Makes An Offer His Employees Can't Refuse

"People like me who made all the right choices and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn't. The people who overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for."

David Siegel, head of Westgate Resorts.



Well I don't exactly feel I'm entitled to all the same luxuries that David Siegel earned and sacrificed for. I mean I'm not really wanting the largest new home built in the United States, which is, after a few bumps in the old financial yellow brick road, nearing completion. The other day he assured MSNBC the elevators were being installed and workers were preparing to put in the marble.

I'm not wanting my wife to explore her opportunities on some new reality TV shows, which his current wife, Jackie is. I will admit, however, I haven't actually asked my spouse how she would feel about such a venture.

I am certainly not prepared to offer anyone $1 million to have sex with me. In February of 2008 a Florida court found in favor of 14 year employee Georgette Meyers who claimed Siegel did just that. She also claims she had to repeatedly fight off unwanted sexual advances by her boss. Mr. Siegel was forced to pay her $5.4 million.

In January of 2009 his company, Westgate Resorts was found guilty of violating the telemarketing sales regulations. In other words they completely ignored the Do Not Call Registry. The fine imposed by the feds was $900,000. That is a luxury I'd rather pass on also

Yes, these are all things I can do without in my life. I would, however, like to know that if our medical coverage is stopped for some reason, such as a loss of job, or benefits, that some insurance company can't turn me down because I have high blood pressure. I'd rather not be left on the streets with no coverage whatsoever. You see, Dave, we don't want it all. We just don't want to get dumped into a ditch on the side of the road and left to die.

Brother Siegel isn't taking any of that gruff though. He sent an email to his roughly 7,000 employees telling them that if the president wins reelection he will either down size, or close his company altogether laying most, if not all of them, off. He insists he isn't trying to intimidate his workers. "I can't tell anyone to vote," he said. "I just want my employees to be educated on what could happen to their future if the wrong person is elected."

Obviously one man's idea of intimidation is an other's concept of education. It does sound to me though that if you work for Westgate Resorts you just got an offer you can't refuse.

Siegel assures everyone he is financially secure. Indeed, he has his and not only will his home, humbly named, "Versailles," be finished, but his heirs will be well taken care of. And, in the end, he is just looking after the best interests of his employees. It is unknown at this time if any of them will wake up tomorrow morning with the severed head of a horse in their bed, but no one should be surprised if they do.

Sometimes, it isn't the avarice. Sometimes, it isn't even the lavish acts of dissoluteness. Sometimes, it is simply the brute arrogance. Sometimes, it is the naked and vicious cruelty put on display in the name of capitalism. Sometimes, it is just the way they say to the rest of us, "fuck you."

10-10-12

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Tickle Monster Goes Away

Then the hammer fell on Jerry Sandusky. He had previously been convicted of molesting ten boys over a fifteen year period. Today, Judge John Cleland saying, "The crime is not only about what you did to their bodies, but to their psyches and their souls and the assault to the well being of the larger community in which we all live," gave Sandusky 30 to 60 years. At age 68 that doesn't leave the former Penn State defensive coordinator much wiggle room at the end of the minimum he'll have to serve.

Defense attorney, Joe Amendola says he'll appeal within ten days. His main argument is that he didn't have enough time to prepare an adequate defense.

Sandusky himself continues to claim he is innocent. He told a Penn State radio station last night, "I didn't do these alleged disgusting acts." Today he repeated that assertion. It might be nice for someone to let him in on a secret. The disgusting acts ceased to be alleged as soon as he was convicted. He also rambled on about "I have hope in my heart of a better day not knowing when that day will come." Also that he hoped to be a "little candle" for others and how he prays that someone may not have been abused because of the publicity surrounding the case. The former coach also maintained that he was the victim of a wide spread conspiracy (aren't we all) that includes police, university administrators and the ever evil media.

Amendola sort of agreed. He claimed there was an "undercurrent in some parts of the state government to bring Penn State down." He hinted that jealousy and envy of the power of the university and its ability to secure funding might have played a part in the charges brought against his client and his conviction. Neither attorney or defendant mentioned the victims.

Prosecutor Joseph McGettigan called Sandusky's comments, "a masterpiece of banal self delusion, completely untethered from reality."

Of course we aren't done with all this yet. The state is still investigating, looking for other victims of the man who referred to himself in letters as "the tickle monster." University president, Graham Spanier was forced to resign. Tim Curley, the Penn State athletic director who is on administrative leave and retired senior vice president Gary Schultz face charges that they lied to a grand jury about what they knew. If Joe Paterno were alive today he might also be looking at a trip into the dock.

In the end Sandusky managed to not only molest children, but bring about the complete destruction of a legend, not to mention the reputation of an entire university. Penn State's football program has been fined $60 million and forced to forfeit every game it won since 1998. Paterno was fired and almost immediately died. His statue in front of the stadium, where he coached so many years, was unceremoniously taken down and dragged off to parts unknown. All because the people in charge thought they could take care of the problem in house. All because no one wanted the good name of the school and the football program sullied by this sick twist. Instead of taking a distasteful public hit and protecting more potential victims by turning this leering clown over to the cops, the powers that were managed to cause the very thing they were so desperate to avoid.

I suppose there is some justice in that. It isn't very satisfying though. The whole affair makes you want to wash your hands every time you read a news release concerning it.

Jerry Sandusky will be eligible for parole in the year 2042. His wife Dottie was at the sentencing. Odds are neither of them will make that first hearing 30 years from now. I suppose there is justice in that also.

sic vita est

10-9-12

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Paul Broun and The Ultimate Conspiracy

United States Congressman Paul Broun, republican from the 10th Georgia district has a message for you.

The Bridge Project, some sort of progressive political watch dog group, came across a video of the congressman addressing a "sportsman's banquet" at the Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia on September 27th of this year. They put an abbreviated version of his remarks on line.

Standing in front of a wall decked out with more than a few stuffed deer's heads the honorable gentleman had this to say: "God's word is true. I've come to understand that all that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory. all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it is lies to try to keep me and the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see there are a lot of scientific data that I've found as a scientist that actually show that this is a really young earth. I don't believe the earth's but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That is what the bible says."

Ah, the ultimate conspiracy. All those evil scientists are out to dupe young Christians into believing in, well, science. Luckily Paul Broun saw through their nefarious scheme. Broun graduated from the University of Georgia. His scientific credentials are that he became a doctor with a degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Wikipedia says he maintains his medical practice based solely on house calls. One is tempted to think that he makes only house calls because no reputable hospital will let him anywhere near their parking lot, much less a patient, but that would be pure speculation on my part.

The congressman didn't cite any evidence for his belief in the "young earth" theory, or that whole six days thing. One would assume his main source of scientific data is the King James version of the bible.

This is all fine and good, except that Representative Broun is the chair of the house science committee panel on investigations and oversight. So what we have is a guy who doesn't believe in science running a congressional panel that decides Lord only knows what when it comes to government research and the funding of scientific projects.

And for those of you who hope this incredible boob will be run out of Washington on a rail in November, he is unopposed this fall. So the nation is stuck with his crazy ass for another two years at the minimum.

On the political front Congressman Broun is on record condemning then president elect Barak Obama's call for a civilian national service corps. He suggested that the president would use this corps to establish a Marxist dictatorship. This puts him in the same realm as Judge Tom Head in Lubbock, Texas. His Honor wants increased funding for Lubbock County emergency services because if the president is reelected there will be a revolution, or a civil war, or something after Obama cedes U.S. sovereignty to the U.N.

I don't know why I'm continually surprised at all this utter bullshit. The current rage among republicans is to claim that every poll that shows their boy is behind and every new unemployment statistic that shows the economy slowly recovering is a comlete lie, just bogus propaganda. More conspiracies! My God, will it never end? Obama was born in Kenya, Indonesia, somewhere, anywhere, but here. Marxist fifth columnists are meeting as I type and I may be one of them. John Kerry didn't deserve his medals. FDR caused the depression, which was precipitated by republican economic policies, to last as long as it did. Yes, if he'd only done nothing at all everything would have corrected itself. A little starvation in the streets isn't a bad thing, just something that happens to the 47% every now and then. And, finally, yeah, we fucked up the economy, but let us fix it because in four years your guy couldn't repair what our guy did in eight.

Is anybody out there?

Is anyone listening?

So much for a peaceful Sunday.

I need an aspirin

10-7-12

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Round One to Mitt and Despite Rumors to the Contrary, Obama is Still in the Race

There is no joy in Liberalville--Mighty Obama has struck out. Well, at least in this round he did. The people at FOX are dancing in the locker room and spraying cheap champagne on each other while the men and women at MSNBC are hammering wildly at the panic button.

But just how bad was it really? The Slate published these comments by pundits:

National Journal's Ron Fournier wrote, "Like other presidents before him Obama fell victim to high expectations, a short fuse, and a hungry challenger."

The Washington Post writer, Chris Cillizzi wrote that Obama crossed the "fine line between sober/serious and grim/uninterested."

The Chicago Tribune wrote that Obama was "that guy at the meeting who's surreptitiously checking his email."

Ok, he didn't win it, but lets not get carried away. There was no knock out punch ala Reagan vs. Carter and there are still two more presidential debates to go, although one has to think the audiences for those will be slightly smaller than this one.

Part of the problem is an over analyzing of the entire debate by those who are paid to over analyze these things. And there is always the ever present hyperbole associated with television news operations. Everything reported on TV is smash mouth drama with a few facts thrown in just so they can call themselves professional journalists.

What I saw was an aggressive challenger who entered the contest knowing he had to win and going all out to do so. What I saw in the champ was a man who wasn't attempting to win the debate, but one simply trying not to lose it. Obama went into a clench, landed a couple of shots, but clearly played for a draw. He was the lumbering Sonny Liston to Romney's weaving, bobbing, jabbing Muhammad Ali. Why he played it that way is something experts will be questioning for days, but that is the way it went down.

Much has been made of why Obama didn't go after Romney's 47% quote and his connection with Bain Capital. In fact after it was done it appeared Chris Matthews was going to have a stroke on the air as he raged about the omission. Speculation from this desk is that the Romney team anticipated such a move and had prepared for it diligently for weeks. Going there would have been tempting some sort of well rehearsed response and a killer one liner that could have made things worse than they actually ended up being. No, it looked to me like Obama smelled a trap, a "there you go again" moment and since he was being overly cautious to begin with, decided to avoid that trip wire altogether.

There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign is now on the defensive, at least until the next foot in mouth moment by Mr. Romney. However, for most lay persons who saw it last night there wasn't the titanic melt down by the president the media is portraying it to be.

And therein is Mr. Obama's real problem right now. Despite what everyone actually saw, how many will listen to the howls and huzzahs from the "experts" and decide they, not their own ears and eyes were right.

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein spoke to that in a Tweet earlier. He wrote, "Much worse for Obama than the debate, is the media's harsh verdict on his debate performance."

Indeed. This thing has just gotten a lot closer, but it isn't over by any stretch of the imagination. Obama took a hit, he didn't jump off a Saipan cliff. Keep in mind crises run up ratings and ratings sell beer and cars. Everyone is in the business to become famous and you don't get that way when you don't sensationalize and magnify the importance of every moment of every day.

Next up Biden and Ryan.

10-4-12

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Saunders, Bransby, Fitzpatrick, and Adams: The Lost Girls One Year Later

It was about a year ago that things started to get decidedly gruesome in Oklahoma City.

On September 28th of 2011 Carina Saunders was reported missing by her family. On October 13th her dismembered and beheaded body was discovered in a duffel bag deposited in a field behind a grocery store in the tiny suburb of Bethany. The media went wild with the lurid news. Over the past 365 days it seems a whole platoon of names have been bandied about in the press. Only two of those names seem to remain germane to the case. Those are Luis Ruiz and Jimmy Massey. Both men are charged with Saunders' death and are currently being held in the Oklahoma County jail. All the rest, and at least one suspected murder scene have faded from the stories and minds of many who have followed the case.

Police have speculated that a video of the crime exists, or did exist, or might have existed. The problem is, unless authorities are keeping it a secret, no one appears to know where the cell phone video is. In fact it is beginning to take on all the trappings of an urban myth. So and so knows someone who saw part of it. Another person might have a copy. Yes, yes and that television furniture guy had to have a gerbil removed from his ass. At this point, again, unless the cops are holding out on the public, there is no real proof that it was ever shot. As far as I know, no trial date has been set and it appears the most damning evidence against the accused is a series of jail house confessions made to other inmates by Massey.

On October 27th of last year Kelsey Bransby was found shot and dying in a south side OKC apartment. Two of her friends, Cole Hopper and Danielle Cooley have been charged in connection with the killing. No trial date has been released for either of the suspects who are residing in the Cleveland County detention center. At least one reader of this blog suggests that the entire thing was a terrible accident, although the charge against Hopper is 2nd degree murder. Neither suspect helped their cause by reportedly fleeing the scene of the shooting and initially denying they had anything to do with Bransby's death.

On November 4th Alina Fitzpatrick was dropped off near NW 23rd and Western by a friend. Police found her naked body in a field on November 9th near NE 43rd and Anderson Road. She had suffered bruises and contusions and had a gag stuffed in her mouth. The police refuse to call her death a homicide because none of the obvious injuries were fatal and her system had an incredible amount of meth in it.

In a story by The Oklahoman's Bryan Dean, OKCPD Captain Dexter Nelson was quoted as saying, "She was with people who were involved in illegal behavior at the time, no doubt." He went on to say, "Detectives are at a point where they could use some help. They have talked to a lot of people, but don't have all the answers yet." The dateline of that article was January 29th, 2012. No arrests have been made, no persons of interest have been identified. Her name and the case have not been mentioned in the local press since then. It would appear police still don't have "all the answers."

On December 10th, 2011 Justin Adams reported his wife Jaymie missing. Her body was found on January 7th of this year off a dirt road near Lake Stanley Draper in southeast Oklahoma City. Depending on which report you read she was stabbed either 18 or 29 times and so severely beaten that her jaw was broken in three places.

Ms. Adams was advertising as a massage therapist on Craigs List, but that was a ruse. She was in fact pulling down tricks. She had gone to a McDonald's the night she disappeared to meet "a friend."

According to the police her husband changed his story about where he was that night several times and failed a polygraph test when asked if he knew where his wife was. In addition cell phone records show that both he and his wife were making calls routed through the same towers in the area.

He was arrested and chucked away in the county lockup and charged with her murder. Then something else happened. Police, after obtaining a search warrant, took DNA samples from a guy named Joseph Cyr. Cyr moved from OKC shortly after the killing and is reportedly the only man questioned by police who refused to voluntarily submit a DNA sample. Within a month after taking the sample from Cyr, Justin Adams, who had been held without bond, was sprung on $100,000 bail. Police maintain he remains their primary suspect, but one has to think there is more going on than what they are releasing to the public.

Justin Adams claims he and his wife were "swingers" and active in that lifestyle. She was pregnant with her fifth child when she was killed.

So after nearly a year the deaths of these four women remain unsolved. People have been charged in three of them, but no one has been brought to trial. No one has truly answered for the brutal crimes. In the case of Alina Fitzpatrick even the hope of some answers as to who and why seem to have faded to the point of nothingness.

It was a deadly autumn in the metro area last year and the wheels of justice have turned ever so slowly. None of the women are forgotten either by family, or friends, but they are gone. And until someone heads off to jail for the rest of his or her life, or takes a needle for what they have done, all four of them will remain, tragically, lost.

10-3-12  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

An Even Playing Field in Pennsylvania and Everyone is All in Tomorrow in Denver

Then suddenly the playing field in Pennsylvania became a little more even. NBC News' Tom Curry is reporting that Pennsylvania judge, Robert Simpson blocked enforcement of that state's newly minted and GOP designed voter ID law. The law, which state republican lawmakers openly bragged would hand Mitt Romney the election in November, will not be in effect.

According to Curry the judge stated, "The proposed changes are to occur about five weeks before the general election and I question whether sufficient time now remains to attain the goal of liberal access." (To the ID cards). Indeed, the entire premise of this scam was to make sure there wasn't enough time for tens of thousands of people to get their voter ID's. In fact the fix was in so deep that when NBC news followed one black hospital worker in her quest to obtain an ID, they found it took her one burned vacation day and four hours of her life she'll never get back to become, "a legal voter." The stench of Jim Crow's mouldering body was nearly overwhelming.

Simpson also ruled that those who have all ready cast provisional ballots won't have to return to their local county election boards within six days to provide ID.

It isn't all good news though. Simpson didn't strike down the law, he just said it was implemented too late for this election. In other words the law is entirely valid in future elections when there has been ample amount of time for voters to obtain their ID's. The Homeless Advocacy Project contends it will keep fighting the law. Other current petitioners such as the League of Women Voters have not said whether they will continue to challenge it, or not.

So on the eve of the first presidential debate the situation in the Keystone state has become dire for Mitt Romney and republican senate candidate Tom Smith. Mr. Romney trails the president in Pennsylvania anywhere from seven to twelve percent in recent polls. Senator Bob Casey Jr. leads his challenger by a full twelve points. And now everyone gets to vote. All those people the GOP thought would be banished from the booths are going to be there in force and with a vengeance.

Tomorrow night in Denver the first of three presidential debates will take place and the subject will be domestic policy. The republicans need for their boy to hit one out of the park and clearly people like Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, thinks that is going to happen. They are all hoping for that Ron Reagan, Jimmy Carter debate where the polished actor took it to the hapless rube from Plains, Georgia. The problem is that Mitt Romney isn't an actor and certainly isn't polished, unless you count that private moment in Boca Raton with the fat cats when he actually said what he really believes. And the Carter/Reagan debacle happened right before the election with no rematch. This is a three game playoff in which Obama, if he knows his stuff, will look Romney directly in the eye and say, "you guys fucked up this economy beyond belief and now you want America to trust you to fix it."

Thanks to Judge Robert Simpson things just got tougher for Mr. Romney. If he completely screws the pooch tomorrow night he will be, despite all the millions of campaign dollars, a dead duck. If he stays close he might be able to recover in the second and third debates. If he wins going away Obama will be on his heels and the race will come down to a handful of votes in two or three key states.

As they say on television, stay tuned for further developments.

10-2-12