Jill C.

Will the Dems Ever Grow a Spine?

Can you imagine if the Republicans had the White House, the House of Representatives, and a 60-vote majority in the Senate?

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Republican Hypocrisy Summed Up

I don't know why I've never really noticed this before, but isn't it interesting how a bunch of Republican politicians who have made their careers taking a government paycheck, in a job that has a guaranteed defined-benefit pension, and taxpayer-paid health care, want to keep everyone else from having the sweet deal they get? If they love the private sector so much, why aren't they working there?

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And What If McCain Wins?

What if John McCain and his mindless, grinning pit bull manage to pull this thing out? Just suppose that their racism and their fearmongering and their pitting citizen against citizen and playing to the darkest fears of the American reptilian brain work. Suppose that enough canvassers are beaten, and enough college kids and elderly women and young aspiring urban hip-hop artists are removed from the voter rolls, and enough voting machines have their smartcards switched to change every "n"th vote for Barack Obama to a vote for John McCain.

What kind of a country will the campaign of John McCain and Sarah Palin have left us with?

What Will it Say to Young People Like This if the Republicans Steal the Election Again?

I no longer expect elections to be fair. I no longer expect Republicans to respect people's right to vote. I no longer expect my vote to be counted. I no longer expect voting machines that accurately record the vote and that aggregate correctly. I now assume that the election taking place in less than a month will be stolen by John McCain and Sarah Palin with the help of the thugs they've whipped into a frenzy, the executives of the voting machine companies, and their shills in the media like Tom Brokaw, who has turned Press the Meat into a "Vote McCain" commercial.

But I am 53 and I am a cynic.

In 1968, another generation endured a year that saw its symbols of hope mowed down not at the ballot box but by bullets. Another generation wanted an end to the relentless feeding of the giant war machine. Another generation thought it could, through the ballot box, effect the changes that would end the Vietnam War. That generation saw its candidate of hope mowed down in the Ambassador Hotel, and the icon of the Civil Rights movement mowed down on a motel balcony. And it rioted in Chicago as a decent man who just happened to have the misfortune to be tied to the policies of an unpopular president nominated for the presidency -- and lose a close election to the hated Richard Nixon.

And for the next four years, there was unrest in this country, led by SDS, the Weathermen, and their ever-more-nihilistic brethren.

No wonder the McCain campaign is so obsessed with William Ayers. No wonder they want to tie Obama to him at the wrists and ankles.

Rachel Maddow Spanks Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough is already pissing and moaning about the promotion of Rachel Maddow. Oh, he's not using her name, but earlier this morning he was griping that he got only around fifteen seconds of face time during last night's convention coverage, and claimed it was because he ticked off "a certain person."

It's no secret who that "certain person" is, and why he's holding a grudge:



Grow the hell up, Joe. You were pwn3d, and you know it.

Pro-Choice Women Flee From McCain When They Discover His Positions

Dahlia Lithwick in Slate notes that as badly as John McCain is polling with women, it gets worse once they realize that he wants to do everything he can to make sure that women of reproductive age don't get to control what happens to their bodies; that government will:
A quick look at the polls reflects McCain's problem: He's running behind Obama with women voters. A poll released yesterday by Emily's List has Obama beating McCain by a 12-point margin among all registered female voters and by 30 points among registered female voters ages 18 to 27. A February Planned Parenthood poll of 1,205 women voters in 16 battleground states found that 49 percent of women who backed McCain did so despite being pro-choice, and 46 percent backing him also wanted Roe v. Wade to remain the law of the land. It's clear that once these voters find out McCain's real record on reproductive rights, they flee. The problem, as Sarah Blustain points out in this great piece, is that voters don't seem to be finding out.

McCain needs these pro-choice women, but every time he tries to reach out to them, he gets smacked upside the head by his base. When he floated the notion of naming a pro-choice vice president last week--either former Pennsylvania Gov. and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge or Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman--Rush Limbaugh snarled that "if the McCain camp does that, they will have effectively destroyed the Republican Party and put the conservative movement in the bleachers." Limbaugh also pledged that tapping Lieberman or Ridge would "ensure [McCain's] defeat." So McCain needs to keep his base happy--and the rest of us in the dark.
[snip]

John McCain is banking on his reputation as an independent maverick to snooker voters into thinking that his abortion views are centrist, no matter what he actually says. It's a risky strategy: Don't believe what I say. Believe what you used to believe before I opened my mouth. But that's where the Jessica Seinfeld trick comes in. Your kid eats the meatloaf because it looks like a meatloaf. And voters continue to think McCain is a maverick because he looks like one.

Voters, and especially women voters who want to make their own reproductive decisions, need to wake up and smell the asparagus.

Hidden Unemployment Increasing

There's more than one way to push people out of the workforce and out of the mainstream. One of the most cost-effective ways is to move people from full-time to part-time work. These people don't inflate and enlarge the unemployment figures because they are at least marginally employed, and they tend not to cost employers too much money, because in many companies, part-time employees are ineligible for health insurance.

But as reported in the New York Times today, part-time employees aren't reliable consumers, and part-time work is often the first step down the slide into poverty:

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Cue the Wingnuts to Spin Environmental Disaster as a GOOD Thing

Even if you believe that homo sapiens is the only species that deserves to survive and that polar bears are expendable, the very real likelihood that the Arctic ice cap will be reduced by forty percent by 2050 and that seasonal polar ice may be nonexistent this summer ought to be cause for concern. Ecological consequences, ranging from the disappearance of coastal areas of Florida, Louisiana, and the Caribbean and an increase in predator species, combine with the possibility of land wars as passages between northern areas of Canada, Alaska, and Russia become more likely.

But today, watch for the gasbags of right-wing radio to declare the polar bear, the walrus, the seal, and the very life of the indigenous people in the northernmost areas of the world to be expendable in the name of Cheap Gasâ„¢:

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Will Nobody Weep for Halliburton?

High oil prices mean record sales for the company paying Dick Cheney's pension, but spinning off KBR means lower profit:
Halliburton Co., the world's second- largest oilfield-services provider, said net income dropped 67 percent after the sale of the company's stake in engineering unit KBR inflated 2007 earnings.
Second-quarter profit fell to $507 million, or 55 cents a share, from $1.53 billion, or $1.62, a year earlier, Houston- based Halliburton said today in a statement. Excluding such items as the KBR gain, a legal settlement and a failed takeover bid, per-share profit rose to 68 cents from 63 cents, matching the average of 22 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Halliburton jettisoned KBR last year, tightening its focus on oilfield work as surging crude prices spurred demand for exploration and production services. The company opened a Middle East headquarters in Dubai and added technology centers in Russia and Asia to expand its presence overseas, where services providers are benefiting as producers ratchet up oil spending.

Why Do Free Markets Hate Our Troops?

For over two decades, we've heard that privatization is the way to go; that the private sector does everything better than the government ever can. This belief has persisted despite the success of federal programs like Head Start, and yes, even Social Security and Medicare.

Even after WorldCom, Enron, Countrywide, and now the IndyMac bank failure, the myth of corporate competence always being superior to that of government persists. And even though Republicans have given lip service to being supportive of, even worshipful of, the military, they've done what they can to outsource that too.

But how is it possible to defend the profit motive when it bumps up against endangering the very troops that they've been using as political props for the last seven years?

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