On Wednesday, Nov. 5, 1980, my 10th-grade American history teacher started class by unfurling The New York Times. She pointed to its triple banner headline: "Reagan Easily Beats Carter; Republicans Gain in Congress; D'Amato and Dodd are Victors."
"Save this paper," she told us. "This is the start of a whole new era."
And it was. An era of unbridled deregulation, wealth-enhancing perks for the already well-off, and miserly indifference to the poor and middle class; of the recasting of greed as goodness, the equation of bellicose provincialism with patriotism, the reframing of bigotry as small-town decency.
In short, it was the start of our current era. The Reagan Revolution was the formative political experience of my generation's lifetime, like the Great Depression, the Second World War or Vietnam for those before us. And in its intellectual and moral paucity, in its eventual hegemony, these years shut down, for some of us, the ability to fully imagine another way.
Here's a great idea to save traditional marriage: outlaw divorce. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/11/9/12930/9102/113/657880
President-elect Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice.
During his campaign, Obama described Guantanamo as a "sad chapter in American history" and has said generally that the U.S. legal system is equipped to handle the detainees. But he has offered few details on what he planned to do once the facility is closed. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/10/obama-plans-guantanamo-cl_n_142593.html
This is rich
According to this story at Raw Story, Rep. Mike Pence was on Faux News:
When asked by Chris Wallace what "conservative solutions" the GOP would bring to their current minority-party status, Pence said social issues like "the sanctity of marriage" will remain the backbone of the Republican platform.
"You build those conservative solutions, Chris, on the same time-honored principles of limited government, a belief in free markets, in the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage," Pence said.
Everyone knows that the 'sanctity of marriage' is anti-gay and 'sanctity of life' is anti-women for conservatives.
If anyone with a brain and an ounce of empathy wanted to actually uphold the sanctity of life, they'd be more interested in the sociological reasons behind so many abortions in this country in the first place and try to do something about it other than pay lip service to banning it, which they will never do. God forbid if you bring up birth control, then they go into a litany of how birth control is evil. If you bring up the economic issues that are behind many abortions and the fact that there still is no adequate childcare for working women, they change the subject. Furthermore, the sanctity of life should be a seamless garment meaning that the sanctity of life should pertain to all life at all stages and for all people, including those residents of sovereign nations that you invade and blow up for false reasons. So feh on the conservative bullshit-go-round. They don't value life unless it's inside a woman, but not the woman herself. It's almost as if they view a fetus as a punishment for those who dare to have sex.
Do you remember early 2001 when Bush couldn't say it enough times, "We inherited a recession from the previous administration"? He couldn't say that we were in a recession enough. I remember thinking that he would bring one on with all the talk about recession.
Now you can't even get the WH to say that we are in a recession even though we most certainly are in a recession.
I hope that Obama remembers to tell Americans during his first months in office that the recession is something he inherited from the previous administration.
My Michelle Moment: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/11/09-1
Palin, Petard, Hoisted
As the right-wing begins in its own ininmitable fashion to deal with being told by the electorate in no uncertain terms that it ought to go live in an uninhabited wasteland somewhere far from civilization where it won't be in the way of the rest of us while we clean up the mess it made, there are naturally a number of ironies developing as the first step. Let's face it, the Right has been using nasty negative attacks as a communications device for so long it doesn't really know how to communicate any other way any more, and being faced with what it considers an unexplainable and near-total defeat, its first instinct is to find a scapegoat.
Now being offered up as the initial sacrifice, one Sarah Palin. Steve Schmidt, a demonstrably meaner Rovian that Karl himself, has decreed that Obama's win was the result of Palin's "going rogue" during the campaign and is seeking revenge by having his minions in the RWNM slip the stilletto into her back at every opportunity.
What's ironic isn't his using the same techniques on a woman he after all chose as McCain's "maverick" sidekick. That was to be expected. What's ironic is her rather unbelievable reaction. After spending her campaign telling lies and spreading gossip about Obama, none of which was, needless to say, true, and recently blaming the media for McC's loss because they weren't spreading her lies with enough gusto, now that she's been subjected to the same kind of slime she had so much fun feeding her fans, she actually has the nerve to be outraged.
Governor Sarah Palin denounced anonymous criticisms leveled at her by former John McCain aides as lies, including allegations that Republican lawyers were traveling to Alaska to reclaim her high-priced wardrobe and that she didn't know Africa was a continent.
"Those accounts are not true," the former Republican VP candidate said in her first public comments on the matter since the election Tuesday.
Palin denounced criticism from unidentified McCain campaign aides as "cowardly." She said she found it frustrating trying to respond to false allegations when she didn't know who was making them.
"It's ridiculous," she told reporters. "You guys report based on anonymous sources, so it's hard to have a defense."
No shit, Sherlock.
Of course it's only fair to note that not just Sarahcuda but none of the Right ever expected to have its dirty games turned on itself. In fact, one must remember that it has spent years developing its particular brand of blind, unquestioning acceptance and of and belief in wingnut innuendo. Skepticism of anything said inside the bubble isn't allowed. And then there is the cynical use of the media's right-wing bias to spread its false gospel without checking facts which Sarah finds so adorably unfair.
Maybe she'll rethink 2012 after all.
George of the Bungle is leaving Obama with:
*$400+ billion dollar budget deficit (not counting the cost of the Iraq war)
* $12 trillion national debt (doubled in 8 years)
* a surge in the number of federal employees and paid political appointees
* the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression
* 6.5%+ unemployment highest level in 14 years (since his daddy, King George the Clueless)
* unprecedented levels of corporate welfare Big Ag and Big Oil tax breaks and subsidies
* complete breakdown of cis-Jordan peace talks and 2nd intifada, massive unrest and hardship in the occupied territories and regional 'cold war'
* Nuclear-armed Little Kim
* election of hard-liners in Iran, virtual elimination of moderate faction
* And to top all that off - a failed costly war in Iraq and a failing war in Afghanistan
And to think Dubya and TurdBlossom's biggest complaint when they began squatting in Al Gore's White House was a few computer keyboards missing "Ws."
Obama looks to undo Utah drilling decisions: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10942117
Not to be outdone by the Mormon's, Utah's Catholic bishop says "We oppose gay marriage too": http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10937437
I think we could pay off the deficit pretty fast if the Mormon and Catholic churches lost their tax-exempt status.
Next Secretary of State - Kerry or Richardson?
Ugggh, John Kerry. The sad horsey lost his 2004 run at the presidency by issuing a stream of terrible proclamations throughout the campaign, which George Bush's oppo team immediately made into commercials: stuff like, "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it." He was also dull and utterly uncharismatic and bad at campaigning. After he lost the election, he insisted on spamming every single one of his supporters, constantly, with retarded emails that made them loathe him even more.
He continued this awful behavior for two years, until during the 2006 midterm elections he made a crack about how if you are too dumb to stay in college you have to join the military and get murdered in Iraq. That was a very infelicitous remark, but Americans should be eternally grateful he made it, because it was the only thing standing between him and a second failed run at the presidency in 2008:
Kerry's personal rehabilitation and his presidential ambitions ran off the rails just a few days before the midterm elections, when, during a campaign rally in California, he botched a joke that was meant to skewer Bush for being a poor student but instead denigrated the intelligence of American soldiers in Iraq; suddenly, some of the midterm candidates he'd raised money and stumped for were canceling their appearances with him, and prominent Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, were denouncing him. "After that," says Shrum, "he couldn't run." Two months later, in a tearful speech to a mostly empty Senate chamber, Kerry announced, "I've concluded that this isn't the time for me to mount a presidential campaign."
Now John Kerry is determined to screw America AGAIN by traveling the globe and alternately boring and horrifying foreign leaders as Barack Obama's Secretary of State. He is lobbying hard for this job! We know this for a True Fact because he keeps denying it.
Bill Richardson is obviously the better choice here. He is fat and jolly and ribald and fun to hang out with. Plus he does not make unfunny jokes about John McCain's diapers all the time.
Paulson discretely eliminated bank taxes - banks to save billions. Who needs Congress when you have Henry Paulson there to save Wall Street at every corner?
$123 billion wasn't enough for AIG, now they want $150 billion. http://money.cnn.com/2008/11/09/news/companies/aig/index.htm?cnn=yes
They broke it, YOU bought it. That is the Republican free market doctrine for you. I wonder what all the people who qualified for prime mortgages but were baited-and-switched into subprime by their lenders, and who now find themselves about to lose their homes, feel about the ranting by Republican politicians about "personal responsibility"? I wonder how all the people who have lost their jobs and who will lose their jobs in the next six months because of AIG feel about the fact that it took Andrew Cuomo freezing bonus payments to the very executives that ran this company into the ground to get them to realize that it wouldn't look good to be shoveling billions of dollars into the pockets of the incompetent and the greedy.
Jon Kyl, the Senate minority whip under Mitch McConnell, is already ignoring President-elect Obama's plea for going beyond narrow partisanship to solve the country's problems together. Kyl, one of the most mean-spirited ideological and vicious gut fighters in Congress, is already threatening to obstruct Obama's campaign promise to move the Supreme Court back towards the political mainstream and away from the far right extremism Kyl and the Federalist Society revel in.
The second highest ranking Republican in the Senate, just a few days after the election, is already talking about blocking Supreme Court nominations that haven't been named, in response to Supreme Court vacancies that don't exist.
I'd add, by the way, that Kyl was one of the conservative Republicans who, in 2005, supported the "nuclear option," which would have declared that filibustering a judicial nominee was against congressional rules. That, of course, was when Bush nominees were in jeopardy.
Ah. Take a big old whiff of that bipartisan spirit.
US special forces have conducted about a dozen secret operations against Al-Qaeda and other Islamic militants in Pakistan, Syria and other countries under broad war-waging authority given them by the administration of President George W. Bush, The New York Times reported on its website.
London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi is reporting indications from a Yemeni with "very close" al-Qaeda ties that Osama bin Laden is plotting an attack against the United States that will "outdo by far" September 11.
The report says that bin Laden sent a message to all jihad cells warning them not to interact with local governments in the Arab world and to reject any formal talks suggested over the past few months, and the source suggested al-Qaeda may send some signals about its intentions over the "next few days."
The report comes just days after President Bush predicted that terrorists would use the transition to an Obama Administration as an opportunity to attack Americans, though he did not mention al-Qaeda by name. Since the September 11 attacks killed around 3,000 people, an attack that would outdo it "by far" would have to be of a completely unprecedented scale.
Let's hope in the next 70 days the Bush administration heeds the warnings better than they did before 9/11.