On Tuesday a friend asked if I intended to watch last night’s debate and I told him probably not. I’ve watched Romney and his privileged prep school routine for years. He wears a smirking upper class disdain for his inferiors (which covers just about everyone) like body armor or more self righteously, like temple underwear and you can read on his face the pompous knowledge that the rest of us are not similarly attired.
I knew going in that nothing would happen in this debate that would change my vote to reelect the president. I told my friend that I would read the transcript the morning after. Being a political junkie I cheated. I watched but switched to the ball game, to an old movie, to a book every ten minutes or so. Whenever the dismal droning of the misinformation and posturing of the “debate” began to grate on my nerves I was able to find respite in the remote.
Reading the transcript this morning I quickly learned that my expectations were borne out by the reality of this ratings circus. A circus that was carried by every network and financed by the same corporate money that fuels these interminable election campaigns. There was nothing to learn here, nothing was said that hasn’t been repeated over and over for the last two years of sound bites, mendacious political ads, and media fueled public backbiting that we have somehow come to accept as the democratic process. (more…)
|Another Day, Another Dollar|
The election postmortems are rolling in as fast as the appeals to vote and donate in the days before the election. Between the flaccid faced politicians strutting their new born power and celebrity, the usual sad collection from TV’s endless supply of political experts and the vast stock of internet pundits, this carcass will be sliced, diced and inspected ad nauseum in the weeks to come.
Although it was expected, I’m disappointed in the outcome, but I am glad that it’s over even if it’s only a matter of hours before the next interminable election season begins. Our elections have become the only known human activity that continues longer than a professional basketball season.
I walked into the polls at 8:30 Tuesday morning, approached a table staffed with seriously geriatric poll workers, identified myself, received a ballot, marked it in a straight democratic fashion, turned it in and was out the door in under fifteen minutes.
I knew we had lost. There were no lines, I saw no one under thirty and I saw no faces that were racially different than my own. I knew we would lose.
Bob Cesca at Huff Post describes the “Flailing Rage Factor,” which is as good an explanation as I’m likely to get for this debacle. I see it everywhere I go. By May of ’09 Obama and the Dems were taking a beating from nearly everyone I ran into, family, friends, even some of the most respectable people I know at the local tavern had taken up the republican mantra of “cut taxes and spending.”
Barnum’s line about suckers born every minute is still operative, the only change is that the birth rate has accelerated, there are a lot more of them, the business of fleecing them is booming and will be fully subsidized by our new congress.
The video accompanying this post may seem disconnected from my point, If I have one but I was impressed with what is being accomplished in our workplaces in both the private sector and government while the empire burns.
I enjoyed it, but I noticed that my laughter is beginning to sound somewhat insane. I’m afraid it’s spreading.
By the time I left the house to cast a ballot this today I’d received a couple dozen reminders to vote. Even if I were inclined otherwise the sheer weight of my morning email would have driven me to the polls. When I returned home there were a dozen more and they just keep coming.
I appreciate the get out the vote effort and hope that everyone, at least of the democratic persuasion, is similarly prodded and gets out and votes a straight ticket today. I’m not making predictions or holding out delusional hopes but I’ve got my fingers crossed because I believe that given more time the dems are the only hope to knock down the demons that currently beset us.
Republicans are equipped only to massage the wealthy and continue their class warfare against the working class.
Republicans since Nixon have proven to me that they are unable to govern effectively. The major reason for their inability looms large and is front and center with nearly every breath they take and nearly every sentence they utter. Republicans have no respect for government and they are not bashful in telling us of the fact.
I take them at their word and based on what they say and my personal experience with the results of their attempts to steer the ship I work as hard as I can to keep them away from the helm.
Go vote for Democrats. Go now!
I watched the “Rally to Restore Sanity” without expectation of a political satori or anything other than a good time. I was a little disappointed with the comedy, I expected more but realized that in order to tone it down and balance it out in the spirit of the day they just managed to make it slightly lame.
I’m not a fan of rap or hip hop but Kid Rock and Sheryl Crowe turned out a couple of great moments and Bonnie Whitmore, the backup singer and bass player with Hayes Carll was fantastic.
I woke up this morning and cable was filled with campaign ads so I hit the mute button while I made coffee. Thinking to myself that the ads would stop in a couple of days and we could begin suffering from the post election analysis I fired up the computing beast. (more…)
Please vote for the environment and urge your friends to do the same.
Next Tuesday a schoolteacher from Connecticut, an organic farmer from California, and a biologist from Colorado will cast their ballots with at least one thing in common – they will have read this and they will be even more determined to vote to protect our planet.
At my polling station in Dayton, Ohio I will add my voice to theirs and cast my ballot for the environment.
And I will forward this to my friends and family to urge them to vote at least in part on how our candidates will treat our natural world.
Will you join us?
Rally to Restore Sanity: Mock On Dudes!
The grousing and bitching, whining and backbiting over the “Rally to Restore Sanity” has begun well in advance of the event itself. Apparently there is a belief in some quarters that comedy and comedians shouldn’t be taken seriously and there is no place for levity in the world of politics or political activism.
Tell that to George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl or Aristophanes. There is always time to poke fun at the political world and its pretenders, to deride the arrogance and pomposity that rises like scud to obscure the surface of our public affairs.
Stewart and Colbert are at once being accused of “taking themselves too seriously” and making a “mockery of our political system.” To the first I say, wait for the rally. I’ll bet any seriousness will be found buried in a barrel of fun beneath a heap of laughter. (more…)
Fight Citizens United by Filtering Out False Political Advertising
The mid term elections of 2010 have been memorable for sheer goofiness as well as for the corporate funded blanket of ugly, false and misleading political advertising that has been lowered over the public airwaves. With the addition of a mountainous heap of money provided by greedy plutocrats, election cycles have become national holidays from reason and sanity that fall between their mates, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I have little trouble tuning out most of this detestable crud, knowing as I do that it’s filled with half truths, distortions and bold faced lies. In this sense the supreme court’s licensing of corporate political advertising in campaign ads is little different from the every day advertising for goods and services that absorb a large percentage of air time on nearly every channel.
I’m not a believer, I don’t buy disposable mop heads that promise to revolutionize my life, or small sheets of fabric to place in the dryer to protect myself from static cling. The hundreds of millions that corporate America is spending on this election is wasted on me and on anyone else who doesn’t believe that signing up for a “free” credit report will improve your credit or that tax protection and relief ads which promise to negotiate with the IRS will actually do anything but empty your pockets more efficiently. (more…)
Citizens United: Before, After, What’s Next?
By Lisa Rosenberg, Sunlight Foundation Blog
The Citizens United case was a game changer in terms of money being spent by outside groups on the 2010 elections—but the question is, how much? This primer (included below) provides a detailed explanation of the before and after, and also includes Sunlight’s policy recommendations for new disclosures needed to ensure that that the midterms don’t become a practice run for even more massive spending in 2012. It’s complicated, but boiled down to its essentials, the key points are these:
• Before Citizens United, if a corporation or labor union wanted to make an independent expenditure—an ad expressly calling for the election or defeat of a specific candidate—it was prohibited from using money from its general treasury. It had to use limited voluntary contributions from its PAC. (more…)