WWHD?

I should have written a post about this earlier because I really don’t like the meme “politicizing a tragedy” and you won’t hear me using it. The reason you won’t hear me using it is because words like “politicizing” are cooked up by operatives at the speed of light and are used to short circuit the thought process. They provide a sort of cheap grace as a substitute for thinking the problem out. Same for words like corporatist and triangulate. But that subject deserves it’s own post and is not the subject of this one

I’m going to try to summarize some of the thoughts I had in myiq’s thread from yesterday. My wifi connection in this hotel isn’t the best, I’m typing on an ipad in a WordPress app and I’ve already lost one post on the subject.

There seem to be tow major camps regarding this tragedy: Sarah Palin is a monster and the Tea Partiers must be blamed. Or, Sarah Palin is the scapegoat and her picture had nothing to do with this tragic incident.

I prefer the third way. In this respect, I must dissent from myiq. On this site, we allow dissent and that is significant because dissent is something that neither party holds as a cherished right.

In the past 18 years, starting with the advent of Rush Limbaugh, we saw a ratcheting up of right wing extremism. Notably in Rush’s case, he started to push the envelope as to what was considered socially acceptable norms of behavior. By this, I don’t mean to say that he shouldn’t have the right to believe what he believes or proclaim any dumb ass right wing policy he wants. That’s his choice. And if he wants to throw in a few expletive deleteds for emphasis, go for it. I do the same all the time. No, what I’m referring to is the subtle and not so subtle breakdown of the barriers we out up between our darkest inner thoughts and our tongues. Take for instance the word “feminazi” for example. There are other examples, some of which are documented in Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot written by none other than my personal favorite, Al Franken.

We put up barriers to these inner thoughts in the 60s and 70s because society thought it was wrong to treat African Americans unfairly and it was wrong to treat women like second class citizens and it was wrong to deprive hippies of the right to grow up to be liberals if that’s what they wanted. The right called it political correctness and while it’s true that some people take the concept too far, it is NOT true that these new societal norms were unnecessary. Seriously, does anyone want to go back to the days of segregation or sexual harassment or, more relevantly now, the days of laissez faire capitalism where the average American was vulnerable to the dips and swings of the market without any stability or insurance against risk? No. Most people don’t.

But there are some segments of society that do want to go back or don’t see what the big deal is if they step on some heads to get to the top. The right wing tapped into that sentiment. They did it by breaking down the barriers and by making it acceptable to unleash that hatred of groups we had decided to protect and assist so they could fully participate in the American dream. They did it by making Rush popular, by buying up radio stations and by giving him a pass when he said indiscreet, intemperate and socially unacceptable things. It became ok to hate these groups again.

I wouldn’t say that violates any constitutional amendments. It just violates our sense of who we are as a nation and it undermines the cohesiveness that so many civil rights activists and union workers fought for over many decades. What distresses me most is that so many people, including some people in my own family, bought into it. It distresses me because we weren’t raised that way.

So, Rush may not have been the first but he was certainly the most effective at spreading the right wing vitriol. By the way, vitriol is an anachronistic word for a certain form of sulfuric acid that is particularly corrosive and dangerous. So, yeah, vitriol is an appropriate word. Vitriol corrodes. It’s not the same thing as violating civility, although it is connected. Incivility is necessary at times to express dissent. Vitriol corrodes the barriers we set up between expressing our darkest thoughts and acting on those thoughts. For example, if you were brought up to hate homosexuals, well, I feel sorry for you but I’m not going to tell you to stop believing it. What I will tell you to do is behave in a manner of good citizenship and do no violate the mental or physical integrity of a gay person and to respect the laws we set up that guarantee everyone’s civil rights. Keep your hatred to yourself.

Rush did away with all that. Now, suddenly, those throwbacks to a different era had a group to belong to. Those angry white men who failed to evolve were able to form a cohesive unit to turn back all the wrongs they think were done to them when they were forced to share the pie that they once had all to themselves. You can almost hear the far right wing Republicans cackling with joy, “Exxxxcellent!”

And so it went. The 90s were a nightmare as the right wingers continued to solidify their hold on the media, permeating virtually every media outlet and the virtual world itself. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that we saw the liberals, late to the party, take to the internet and try to push back. Some of them, particularly in 2008, attempted to use Limbaugh-esque tactics to suppress their own base. That’s because they discovered that ditching your principles to energize your base works and drives up ad revenue. It also leads to electing the least prepared and least liberal president the country has ever known during a period of time when preparation and liberal economic policies were desperately needed. But I digress.

So, the right wing has been perfecting their method for nearly two decades. What used to be outrageous and offensive, is now merely background noise. Women are uppity, they don’t spend enough time with their kids, they want abortions so they can go to the prom. Gays are recruiting young boys and they threaten the institution of marriage and if they allow gay marriage, married men will abandon their wives to dress in drag and march with their boyfriend(s) in gay pride parades. Muslims are evil. Christians, but only fundamentalist Christians, are good. Liberals want to steal your money. They will make out country vulnerable to attack. Health care reform is socialized medicine.

Finally, we have come to this point in time where if you are a liberal, you’re barely fit to live. You’re not really human. You’re no better than a parasite, a cockroach, a backstabber. Most liberals can’t even refer to themselves as liberals.

And it is into this environment that Sarah Palin steps as the champion of a new set of people. A group that even the right wing Republicans are afraid of. They resemble the John Burch Society and the old style, inside the beltway, refined Republicans don’t really approve. Funny, when Palin ran for VP in 2008, she gave little indication that she would take so well to the Glenn Beck style right wingery. I was surprised and dismayed, but the money must be good and why shouldn’t a conservative feminist cash in as well as the boys?

She got a little enthusiastic. She joined in with gusto. She turned her love of firearms and hunting into an asset. She put up a very thoughtless picture that, IMHO, demonstrated a cavalier and careless disregard for the personal safety of those people who she happened to disagree with politically and some of those people had liberal tendencies. Her audience doesn’t think it’s such a big deal. Heck, they HATE liberals with a white hot passion.

But what has happened to Gabrielle Giffords, while probably having nothing to do with Palin’s picture and more likely caused by the actions of a psychotic individual, was preceeded by death threats, vandalism and on more than one occasion people showing up to her rallies with guns and shouting in red faced fury into her face.

Did Sarah cause all the vitriol? No, she is just the last in a long line of opportunists. She shouldn’t bear the whole blame for what has happened in our country where it has become dangerous to openly confess to being a liberal.

But if she ever wants my respect, she will express genuine humility and contrition for helping to spread the vitriol. And that goes for Beck and Rush and Fox and all of their retainers. If Palin aspires to public office, where she represents and vows to protect and serve all Americans, she must set a higher standard for herself. She must adopt a set of principles of A good public servant, one who never elevates one set of citizens above others. She must continually strive to accentuate the positive and never stoop to cheap opportunism and easy politics of our baser instincts. She must become more like Hillary Clinton.

So, when it comes to Sarah and Beck and in the future Pawlenty or Mitt or Huckabee, or even Obama and his golden horde of asshole bloggers, we have to guard ourselves from being swayed by the crowd and ask, what would Hillary do?

About those “death panels”


I was reading an article at Conservatives4Palin that points out (correctly) that when the former Alaskan governor made her infamous “death panels” post on Facebook she wasn’t referring to end of life counseling.

This is what Sarah Palin said:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

I know this will surprise those people who are convinced (or pretend to be convinced) that because I refuse to demonize Ms. Palin that I am infatuated with her but I disagree with the former Vice Presidential candidate.

Before I explain my disagreement I want to clarify what Sarah Palin actually said. Contrary to the assertions of Ezra Klein and others, Palin never claimed that Obamacare would euthanize anyone. She claimed that Obamacare would result in rationed health care and that bureaucrats would decide whether or not to pay for treatment based on subjective criteria like the patient’s “level of productivity in society.”

While there is a nugget or two of truth in what Palin said we’re hardly talking about exterminating “useless mouths.” What we’re talking about is the kind of cost-benefit analysis that people already have to make every day.

Despite what some people think none of us has a “right to life.” On a long enough timeline the mortality rate is 100%. As Clint Eastwood said, “We all got it coming.”

As we saw during the Terri Schiavo case, the general consensus in this country is that at some point it is acceptable to terminate life-support. The real question in cases like that is who (other than the patient) can make those decisions and when they should be made.

But “death panels” cases aren’t about whether or not to pull the plug on someone, they are about the limits, if any, on the payment for health care services.

Forget the specifics of Obamacare for the moment and assume we adopted some version of single-payer like all the other industrialized nations have done. Call it Medicare For All. As the cost goes up and the prognosis grows more grim, is there some point at which we should say “enough is enough?”

Let’s say we have a patient in his eighties who is diagnosed with cancer. Treatment will cost approximately $1 million, the chances of success are less than 10% and he has already exceeded his life expectancy so even if the cancer doesn’t kill him he isn’t gonna celebrate many more birthdays anyway.

Should we pay for his treatment? What if he had diabetes and tuberculosis too? What if he’s already in a persistent vegetative state? Is there any point at which we should draw the line?

The fact is those decisions are already being made, but the decision-makers are health insurance company bean-counters and profit-minded executives.

I think that if we are going to control health care costs one thing we need to do is set limits on how much health care we will pay for. The factors considered in setting those limits should include cost but also a number of other factors, including prognosis and quality of life.

But those limits need to be determined in an open manner by people answerable to the public. There needs to be an open process and a way to appeal the decisions that are made.

What do you think?



Never doubt the Clown


Salon reports what I predicted a year and one-half ago:

Doubting Sarah
A chorus of criticism and doubt about Sarah Palin is emerging from an unlikely and telling source: Republicans

Sarah Palin is widely considered to be a leading candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. And while an October story in Politico made a splash (and drew Palin’s wrath) by quoting anonymous Republican “insiders” attacking Palin, we’ve noticed a different, striking pattern in recent weeks: More and more prominent Republicans are publicly voicing doubts about Palin.


June 18, 2009:

Secondly, I didn’t say that everything being thrown at Sarah comes from the left side of the political fence. Before Sarah will have a chance to face a Democrat in a national election again she will have to win the GOP nomination, and there are several men also vying for that prize. Although they have to be more circumspect because of her popularity with the GOPer base, the Republicans invented the bitch-slap theory – Josh Marshall just gave it a name.

So you’re gonna see Sarah get attacked from every direction, often unfairly and sometimes outrageously. But how she should respond is problematic. The conventional wisdom of the Village Idiots is that such attacks should be ignored. Ask Michael Dukakis how well that strategy works.


Now the conventional wisdom on the left is that the GOP establishment is attacking Palin because they are afraid that if she is the 2012 nominee she will lose in the general election. That’s wrong.

They are scared shitless that she’ll win.



Wrong Emphasis


Sarah Palin Uses Info Gleaned From ‘Treasonous’ WikiLeaks To Pen Op-Ed On Dangers Of Iran

Sarah Palin sought to build her foreign policy credentials on Tuesday, with a new op-ed arguing that the Obama administration needs to “toughen up” on Iran based on information from leaked diplomatic cables that she had earlier denounced.

Their point:

Sarah Palin hypocritically uses WikiLeaks information to gin up war with Iran.

The important point:

Sarah Palin hypocritically uses WikiLeaks information to gin up war with Iran.

When are progressives gonna figure this shit out?


What's the matter? Don't you like clowns?


Fairness, Dignity, Respect: Conducting Subversion in Public

She was us. But we're still out here even if she has moved on.

I have read a lot of Woe is Us comments and posts around the web in response to Anglachel’s excellent post, Hillary is not Going to Save Us.

“We are doomed.  We should just accept Obama’s Reign of Error and unopposed primary run in 2012.  We should get used to our batshit crazy Republican overlords.  All is lost!  The hosts of Mordor have won!”

This is bull $#@%.

You are not reading Anglachel’s post correctly if that is what you think she is saying.

What she is saying, and she can correct me if I’m wrong, is that leaders get power from movements, momentum, a bloc of supporters and a set of principles.  Neither Hillary not anyone else can save you if you don’t have a movement to support her or make any attempts to save yourself.

Here’s where I differ with Anglachel: I think Hillary would jump in if she knew there was a tidal wave of people ready to throw their support behind her or some other FDR style Democrat.  Obama is very weak.  His supporters, as Anglachel says, are numerically small but very vocal.  So what?  It doesn’t matter how noisy the Stevensonians are.  The Democratic party still needs to appeal to all of the other regular working class people out there.  And those people aren’t letting themselves be corralled anymore.  Witness the reports on the AmericaSpeaks forums that Corrente is reporting.  We know what kind of game the handlers are playing.  They are trying to present the policy prescriptions as a choice between bad and slightly less bad.  Nowhere are the “acceptable to the average guy” policies allowed.  And people are letting these agents of the wealthy know that they’re not interested in that.  They want to be masters of their own fates, not sheepish pawns in someone else’s fantasy.

But more than that, had Hillary won in 2008, she would be looking at a second term in 2012.  It’s nonsense for her to state that she’s out of politics because, well, I don’t know why she would say that.  She wouldn’t be too tired to run for her re-election in 2012.  So, there’s got to be another reason why she says she’s *planning* to sit it out.  As we have seen with many politicians, Hillary included, it is usual with candidates to reject the addresses of the voters whom they secretly mean to accept, when they first apply for her favour; and that sometimes the refusal is repeated a second or even a third time. We should therefore by no means be discouraged by what she has just said, and shall hope to lead her to the oval office ere long.

But why should she, or any FDR style Democrat, accept the hand of a Mr. Collins when what she/he really desires is a Mr. Darcy?  We’re not in fighting form for  successful courting.  What we need to be is an attractive voting bloc, not just a ragtag, disjointed bunch of discouraged disenfranchised working class schlubs.  And when I say “working class”, masslib, I am talking about all of the people the Democrats left on the table in 2008, whether they are college educated or not.  If you make your income from a paycheck and not investments, YOU ARE WORKING CLASS. Don’t be afraid of the term.  Your strength depends on recognizing what you have in common with the people who you once thought were your intellectual inferiors.  When the top 10% of the county makes 70% of the wealth generated here, you working people of all professions and condition of dirt under the nails are in the same boat. To the top 10%, you all look like a bunch of stupid losers. It’s YOU against that top 10%.

This is why Sarah Palin is so successful.  She has tapped into the anger of the people who have smelled the asphalt.  If you want to beat her, you have to join with the road workers.  Once you have established that you exist and that you share a common cause and a common set of principles based on Fairness, Dignity and Respect, you will start looking pretty hot to the politician who will fight for the right to carry your banner.

Yes, oh best beloveds, there are such people.  The world is ever thus.  There are people who will strive to accumulate power and wealth and who will step on the heads of anyone who gets in their way.  And there are people who will gird their loins for you and step up.  There are good people in the world.  Those people are not perfect.  No human has ever been born upon the planet who did not have flaws.  But there are people who try.  They try and sometimes they fail.  But they do not give up because civilization hangs together by the slimmest of positive efforts that overcome the negative ones.  Without effort to overcome the chaos in favor of establishing a good order for the benefit of all, we as a people would cease to exist.  So, we must all be doing something right every single day to hold ourselves together.

That means showing up at public meetings and not allowing others to shout you down.  That means sticking up for the working people, even if they are public servants who seem to be benefitting from your taxes.  That means rewarding solidarity with your support.  That means giving to others when you don’t have much yourself: feeding the poor, buying a gift for a disadvantaged child at Christmas, donating money to classrooms in need.  That means helping your friends who have become unemployed through no fault of their own.  That means standing up for them when the ignorant and narrow minded call them parasites after all of their years of hard work and taxes for the public good. That means never accepting the fate that others would assign to you.  That means women sticking up for themselves and letting go of Roe that has created a false sense of equality and has been used by your enemies to rally the opposition to tear down your rights.  That means never giving anyone consent to treat you as an inferior.  That means conducting your business in public, transparently, creating your principles and values and inviting others to join you.  That means imposing discipline on yourself and others to stick to the point, not be distracted by identity politics.  That means insisting on equality for all because the country can use all the help it can get from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, education level or any other criteria that separate us from one another.

Do not let them separate you from your friends.  Hold hands, get together, brainstorm, meet, plan, do, solve and never, never let the bastards grind you down.  Push back forcefully.  You don’t have a choice.  This is your country.  Take it back.  Insist on Fairness, Dignity, Respect.  Demand a New Deal.

If you build it, she may run.  Or someone else will take up the banner.  When she told us at the Convention to “Keep Going!”, I think this is what she meant.

Update: For those of you who asked, here is the proposal I wrote in 2008 for going forward.  It is preliminary and somewhat out of date.  But it’s a starting point for discussion.

ANewOrganizationforDemocratsinExile

 

PDS – Is there a cure?


Elizabeth Wurzel at Atlantic:

Sarah Palin, Riot Grrrl

To paraphrase Lillian Hellman, I don’t agree with a word that Sarah Palin says, including “and” and “the.” And as a liberal feminist, it drives me absolutely bonkers that Palin is the most visible working mother and female politician in America, that she is the best exemplar of a woman with an equal marriage, that she has put up with less crap from fewer men than those of us who have read The Second Sex and marched in pro-abortion rallies and pretty much been on the right side of all the issues that Palin is wrong about.

So I suppose I should confess: I like Sarah Palin. I like her because she is such a problem for all these political men, Republicans and Democrats alike, with their polls, and their Walter Dean Burnham theories of transformative elections, and their economy this and their values that–and here comes Palin, and logic just doesn’t apply. She speaks in spoonerisms, she raises wretched children, she’s a quitter, she’s a refudiater, she shoots moose and beats halibut, she has a dumb accent that doesn’t have the charm of Charleston or the Brahmin of Boston–really, she is just a lot of quirks.

But it doesn’t matter. It will never matter and I bet it never has mattered, because Sarah Palin is hot. She has sex appeal. That’s why people like her. That’s the whole story. Everyone has to stop trying to deconstruct and decode it, because there is no accounting for chemistry, and Sarah Palin has lots of it going on with her public. I don’t think anyone knows or cares what in particular she stands for, other than some general conservative cache of principles, because they are in love with her.

The Democrats are total morons for not finding their own hot mama before the Republicans did so first, or maybe I should have left off the qualifiers and called it straight: the Democrats are just plain morons, at least where women are concerned. The right wing, for whatever weird reason, has been much more receptive to outrageous and attractive female commentators who are varying degrees of insane or inane, but in any case are given a platform on Fox News and at their conservative confabs. Look at how great life has been for Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham and the assorted lesser lights. But there are no Democratic blondes, no riot grrrls on the progressive side of politics, no fun and fabulous women in the liberal scene who could pave the way for a Palin. Yes, there are women who are successful in the Democratic party, but none of them are successful because of their feminine wiles, none of them have played up their sex appeal the way Palin has. MSNBC’s female host is Rachel Maddow, who is completely good in all manner of ways that good can be good–but still I must ask: Where are the policy babes?

I know, I know: all of you are saying that it’s a good thing it’s like that, it’s a sign that liberals have integrity and blah blah blah. But I think you are kidding yourselves. It’s a sign of another thing: that liberal men are wimps who can’t handle the hot potato that is a combination of feminine sexuality and female political brilliance.

Anyone with a sense of humor, a sense of fun, and a sense that women should be taken on their own terms really ought to like Palin. I mean, of course, you should hate her at the same time, but you should hope she is the beginning of revolution, grrrl style.

At least she’s herself. Every damn day, if you tune in to any of the 24-hour news outlets, the same pundits retread through the same stuff–they all say the same thing. I spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how the whole DC opinion apparatus remains employed. If there were any justice, their ranks would swell the unemployment rate beyond 10 percent. And still, some moron known as a news executive who hasn’t registered a thought beyond mediocre in my lifetime approves of this, and Americans, educated to believe 2+2=5, will put up with anything.

Into this horror walks Sarah Palin, who is kind of a sexy librarian, kind of a MILF, kind of just crazy, and altogether does what she wants to do. This, actually, is normal behavior. But we are so used to watching other female politicians compromise in so many ways that there is not enough Vaseline in all of CVS to make the situation comfortable–so Sarah Palin seems completely strange.

Unfortunately, Sarah Palin is not very bright, not very thoughtful and not very qualified to run a country. Or a state. But really, are any of the other idiots who want the job so much better?

WTF? Is she snarking or schizophrenic?

The first couple paragraphs are okay, but then she takes a hard left turn into Crazytown.

“I love her! I hate her! She’s a hottie! She’s a naughty librarian! She’s a dummy! Our side needs hot dumb librarians too!”

Seriously, WTF?




A big nothing-burger

Winchester Mystery House


Have you ever been to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose? I’ve been there twice. It’s kinda cool, but it’s not very mysterious.

Supposedly a psychic told this rich widow named Sarah Winchester that if she never stopped building her house she would live forever. For 38 years it worked. Then Sarah died anyway.

Wikipedia:

Prior to the 1906 earthquake, the house had been built up to seven stories tall, but today it is only four stories. The house is predominantly made of redwood frame construction, with a floating foundation that is believed to have saved the estate from total collapse in both the 1906 earthquake and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. There are about 160 rooms, including 40 bedrooms and two ballrooms, one completed and one under construction. The house also has 47 fireplaces, 10,000 window panes, 17 chimneys (with evidence of two others), two basements and three elevators.

The tour lasts an hour or so and you see things like a stairway to nowhere (it goes up to the ceiling and stops.) But the place isn’t haunted or anything, it’s just a house built by a crazy old lady.

They call it the Winchester Mystery House because “Crazy Old Lady’s Place” wouldn’t bring in as many tourists. But if you saw some of the spooky ads for the place you might think it was the real-life Overlook Hotel

The reason I bring it up is because of this story in Mother Jones:

Sarah Palin’s Mystery Research Firm

Why’s an incendiary Dutch journalist on the payroll of the ex-Alaska governor’s political action committee? A Mother Jones investigation.

With a headline like that they must have uncovered some juicy dirt on Caribou Barbie, huh?

Make the jump to see what they found:
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Free advice is worth what you pay for it


You may have heard that Harper Collins, the publisher of Sarah Palin’s yet unreleased new book, has obtained an injunction against the tabloid website Gawker for the unauthorized publication of some excerpts from the book.
Professor Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection (wingnut warning) has some free advice for Sarah Palin:

And they bragged when they stole a partial copy of your book, and they dared you and taunted you to do something about it, and you did.

But please don’t stop there. Your TRO is the equivalent of a routine metal detector screening. You found the box-cutter, and confiscated it. Good so far, but not enough.

You need to have your lawyers give the people at Gawker a full nude-body scan and junk fondling.

Uncover the networks, Sarah. For all of our benefit and amusement.

It’s called discovery. In a litigation your lawyers are entitled to e-mails, and all Gawker’s internal documents regarding not only this theft, but you. Because you will want to prove that their intent was to harm you and damage you, so everything they ever have written off-the-record, everyone with whom they ever have communicated about you, every strategy they have employed to take you down, now is fair game.

And your lawyers also get to take depositions under oath of the people at Gawker, and to subpoena for testimony others who may have relevant evidence as to the issue in the case. The Palingate people would be a good start.

What the good professor from Cornell Law School is talking about is “malice.” If you really want to hit the jackpot in a civil suit you want punitive (aka exemplary) damages. To get punies a plaintiff needs to prove the defendant acted with “Fraud, Malice Or Oppression.”

Malice – The intentional commission of a wrongful act, absent justification, with the intent to cause harm to others; conscious violation of the law that injures another individual; a mental state indicating a disposition in disregard of social duty and a tendency toward malfeasance.

Malice gets a public figure past the Sullivan standard too.

That gives Harper Collins and Sarah Palin the right to start digging through Gawker’s files and deposing their employees. If they uncover new causes of action, they can amend their complaint to allege new counts.

Even if Gawker wins they can end up paying boocoo simolians to their attorneys. “Nobody made any money except the attorneys” is what the legal profession calls a “happy ending.”



She’s a contender now


Warning: This is another tedious post is about that annoying Sarah Palin and may induce headaches, nausea, malodorous sweating and/or fecal hemorrhaging in some people. Reader discretion is advised


The 2012 Presidential election will be between a Republican and a Democrat. Michael Bloomberg can spend every dime of his fortune running as an independent and he still won’t win a single electoral college vote.

Barack Obama will be the Democratic candidate unless he decides not to run. While I would love for that to happen I ain’t holding my breath.

Sarah Palin has a good chance of winning the GOP nomination even without the backing of the Republican establishment. Unlike Mitt Romney she can win the fundie votes and she’s already got the Tea Partiers locked up.

Ignoring Sarah Palin won’t make her go away. That might of worked two years ago but the misogynist frat boys on the left just couldn’t let her go.

She owes them a debt of gratitude. Without their efforts she would be a footnote to the 2008 election. She’s a player now.
Continue reading

Sexism? What sexism?


The picture above is NOT A PARODY, it is the actual cover of Mother Jones magazine, a periodical named for a feminist icon:

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (August 1, 1837 – November 30, 1930), born in Cork, Ireland, was a prominent American labor and community organizer, who helped co-ordinate major strikes and co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World. Her activities were done under the moniker of Mother Jones, after which Mother Jones magazine is named.

But it’s all good, because two women (Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery) came up with the idea and another woman was the illustrator:


It’s not that there aren’t enough clues on the cover of the new issue of Mother Jones—the headline, for one—but since you (well, a couple of you) asked: Yes, that is a full-throated homage to the B movie classic Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. If you’re like us, your knowledge of American cinema doesn’t encompass the full plot of this 1958 gem, but suffice to say that it involves a wealthy heiress, Nancy Archer, who after an encounter with an alien is found on the roof of her pool house and soon grows into a giantess. She goes searching for her no-good husband and his mistress, Honey Parker (!), and mayhem ensues. We liked the image because of the subtle historical echoes and… oh, who are we kidding: We liked it because the poster is awesome. (The echoes, though, are there: 1958 was an election year, in a recession, that dealt the president’s party a big string of defeats and launched the Senate careers of, among others, Gene McCarthy, Robert Byrd, and Edmund Muskie.)

MoJo’s creative director Tim Luddy encouraged illustrator Zina Saunders to follow the poster out the window in tone and feel, tweaking only the landscape to look more suburban. Saunders, who by the looks of her gallery has been mildly obsessed with Sarah Palin (to terrific effect) took the assignment very seriously, at one point sending a picture of Palin in her beauty-contestant days to confirm that she’d gotten the proportions right.

So what if they portrayed the most popular female Republican in the country as a monster in a miniskirt? When women do it it’s okay.  Besides, they got the proportions right.  That’s what really matters.

Continue reading

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