Restoring Honor Open Thread

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I am fascinated to know what y’all thought about Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  C-SPAN’s video library has the entire rally and is available if you haven’t seen it.  Let me put a few questions out there to get the ball rolling.

(1) Was Beck successful in co-opting the message and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr?  (2) Were you moved by the vacuous patriotism and empty religiosity? (3) Did Beck erase the stain of his incessant race baiting against Obama by sharing the stage with colored folks? (4) Could you discern anything coherent from his pompous rambling? (5) What did you think of Palin’s remarks? (6) Did Alveda King make a fool of herself, her family, and the entire African Diaspora by lending her name to this rally?

Fashion Disaster

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The controversy over Sarah Palin’s opulent, fashion forward makeover is indeed an interesting one because it speaks volumes about her and how unfit she is for assuming the role of Commander-In-Chief. The Republican National Committee spared no expense to ensure that the most inarticulate and ignorant Vice Presidential contender in modern history looked the part while she rigidly adhered to a demagogic and hypocritical script of racial appeals to stereotypical, white Joe Six-packs and hockey moms more accustomed to the cramped aisles of a plebian Wal-Mart than the rarified air of Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Sistah Robin Givhan of the Washington Post has written:

As a country, we remain predisposed to assessing the attire of women with an eye toward meaning and revelation. Some say it is sexist to do so. They are wrong…Clothing can evoke authority, but at the most basic level it is an expression of control.

How does a woman get elected to be a state’s chief executive-a job that entails presiding over the management of billions of dollars and thousands of employees and not have an appropriate wardrobe befitting her station that quietly and and elegantly conveys that authority? She did it, I presume, by running on the vacuous tripe of personality and biography. It also means and the evidence proves that she is not really in control.

In almost every aspect, Ms. Palin is totally unqualified for the job she holds and doubly unqualified for a promotion to the Vice Presidency. If she pieced together her wardrobe and political resume together like she did her Bachelor’s degree-a little bit here and little bit there, it tells me that she is unfocused, shallow, and lacks the intellectual curiosity and depth necessary for wielding executive power.

Again, according to Sistah Givhan”

Attire is not the sole provence of women, but n comparison with men, it remains an area in which they have the greater number of choices, more flexibility, [and] the heavier burden.

Sarah Palin didn’t somebody aside and wisper a request for a makeover. Palin’s handlers knew damn well that she needed one and planned accordingly and spent extravagently. That by itself gives the lie to Republican claims that she is ready for primetime.

The wardrobe they selected for Palin is elegant, simple, understated and very fashion forward. It embraces femininity without conveying frivolity or sacrificing authority. However, it should be noted that Governor Palin didn’t select a stitch of it-her handlers did.

Sarah Palin is fond of calling Barack Obama a socialist while sporting $150,000 of other people’s money on her back. This is a fine example of the racist hypocrisy that African Americans find so repellenat and why we so soundly reject the Republican brand. Can you imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and the Obamas were at the receiving end of this type of subsidized extravagance? Lord, have mercy. Can’t you just hear the howls of wingnut indignation? Moreover, I seriously doubt whether we would be hearing Mika Brezinzki and Campbell Brown defending Michelle Obama.

If Palin’s handlers had been as serious about what they put in the Governor’s head to get her up to speed on national issues as they were what they put on her back, John McCain’s choice would be lauded as a touch of brilliance and perhaps he would still be inthe hunt for the Oval Office he has long coveted.

Sistah Givhan relates:

The public has already settled on the defining characteristics of a powerful man: He wears a dark suit that is well tailored. He pairs it with a crisp white shirt, and if he wishes to underscore his authority, he wears French cuffs…He tries to look dignified and serious.

Sarah Palin’s selection is akin to a fashion disaster or like pairing a garish tie with an expensive suit. The Alaska Governor is the personification of ostentatious fraudulence and her makeover shatters the image of dignified seriousness and gravitas McSame has tried to run on.

When Sarah’s fairy godfather loses the election and the ball is over, campaign flacks claim that the designer duds that McCain’s right-wing Cinderella acquired will be donated to charity. I don’t believe that-especially when we’ve heard talk about whether she would need to claim these clothes on her income tax, which implies that these clothes were meant to be kept after the campaign.

In other words, the campaign is spinning another line of B.S. that, coincidentally, aptly describes the McCain-Palin campaign thus far.

Hate First

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Video Hat Tip: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Crooks and Liars

The mainstream media has been talking around this for weeks now, but Al Jazeera, the Middle Eastern news channel, lays it out plain and shows White voters spewing out the racist, sectarian, xenophobic, Anti-Obama talking points of the Republican Party.  The Republicans have been playing a ridiculous game of denial with the media and everyone else that calls them on their bullshit–thus, the histrionics by Republicans over John Lewis’ open letter calling out McSame and Failin’.  They know exactly what they’ve been doing because they’ve been doing it for over 40 years.  They have been masters at the non-denial denial and the art of deliberately stoking the racial resentments of their white constitutent base against the liberal enemies of the moment.  Southern Strategy, anyone?

Judging Sarah

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Joe Biden’s ponderous Washington speak is nothing but a hinderance in reaching out to the American people.  There is nothing about the man that evokes change in the mind of the average American voter.  Bringing up dead fossils like Mike Mansfield and Jesse Helms just underscores that.   That being said, there is no doubt that Sarah Palin is out of her league as a Vice Presidential contender.   She continues to ramble her way through questions she clearly doesn’t know the answers to and no matter how charming and perky she comes across on television, her lack of depth is unmistakable.   I give her points for remembering most of her talking points, but she clearly coulda used more time to cram.

 

 

Palin stumbles and falls

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Y’all know what I already think. I literally laughed out loud.  No comic needs to do make anything up to spoof her–just use her damn words.   I’d just like to know what y’all think.

Kathleen Parker, a right-wing columnist I consider to be insensitive and racist, said this:

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”

When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama’s numbers, Palin blustered wordily: “I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?”

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

Ouch.  I hollered when I read that line.

She ends her column by calling on Palin to step down from the ticket for the good of the party.   I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Why I am pro-choice

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Mother n Child (late 1930s) by Omega418.

Several years ago, I was asked to do a project for a Women’s history class and interview a woman of a certain age in the family. I interviewed my great Aunt Alberta. My aunt was her mother’s namesake and she told me my great-grandmother’s story. According to the census of 1930, my great-grandmother was my grandfather’s second wife. Born in Mississippi in 1907 to a family of 15, she met and married my great-grandfather, a Baptist minister, sometime in the late twenties and to their union were born three children: Uncle Isiah in 1927, Lula, my grandmother in 1929, and my Aunt Alberta in 1930. About 1933 my great-grandmother Alberta became pregnant again.

The economic injustice of the Jim Crow south was intensified by the near total economic collapse brought on by the depression. Times were tough for blackfolks anyhow, but the misery of the depression made some of us long for the degradation of slavery because at least they could be assured of being fed. It was into this climate of desperation, penury and fear that my great-grandmother faced the prospect of having a fourth mouth to feed.

When a woman is intent on ending a pregnacy to preserve the family that she already has, there is nothing that she won’t do.  My great-grandmother searched high and low for an abortifacient that would work and settled on a method, which is lost in the mists of time, that took her life. Her death left a hole in the family that could never be filled. My great-grandfather re-married twice. The woman who raised my grandmother and her siblings was a cold, emotionally distant woman who expected her grown children still at home to pay room and board before each eventually married. My great-grandfather was a strict disciplinarian who had trouble understanding the difference between necessary discipline and child abuse.

Several years ago, my Auntie gave grandma an old black and white photo similar to the one here. My great-grandmother, who my grandma closely resembles, is holding an infant, my aunt, while her two toddlers stand to her sides. Grandma cried as she told us how much she missed her mother. Her loss is felt even now. Because of limited career choices available to their generation, my grandmother and her sister became nurses and I know that her mother’s death made grandma firmly and unalterably pro-choice. Out of respect for her and the memory of my great-grandmother, I am too.

It did my heart good to see that the National Organization for Women endorsed Barack Obama and Joe Biden today. They said in part, “Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, to strengthen access to contraception and reproductive health care, and prevent unwanted pregnancies. He strongly supports Roe v. Wade and will oppose any efforts to overturn it. …Sen. Obama opposed the nominations of George Bush’s extreme right-wing nominees to the Supreme Court, who have consistently ruled against women’s rights.”

“For more than a decade, Barack Obama has said “yes” to women’s rights, while John McCain has consistently said “no” – NO to pay equity, NO to contraceptive access and reproductive rights, NO to appointing Supreme Court judges who will uphold women’s rights and civil rights, NO to funding shelters and other anti-violence programs, and NO to supporting working moms and dads with policies that support work/life balance.”

Barack Obama is not perfect and is far too accomodating and corporate for my taste. However, he is the only candidate in the race who shares most of my values that is capable of winning. Anybody who claimed to be for Hillary Clinton that doesn’t support Barack Obama is lying when they claim to be feminists. Feminists support the rights of women–all women, to be free of patriarchy, racism, violence and economic discrimination. Supporting John McCain and his right-wing fembot is antithetical to the philosphy of feminism.

Hiding behind John McCain and Sarah Palin or Cynthia McKinney changes nothing. Sarah Palin is not a feminist, no matter what she claims, and she doesn’t support preserving the reproductive rights of women. Cynthia McKinney, on the other hand, is a good feminist, but she has absolutely no chance to win.

The choice for feminists is clear. Anybody who says anything different and insists on bludgeoning Barack Obama as the scapegoat for the slings and arrows of sexism is really more interested in preserving white supremacy than they are in defending Hillary Clinton from sexist patriarchy.

Friday Thread

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I’ve been a little pre-occupied by the deluge of B.S. cascading from the McCain camp in a blatantly racist attempt to smear Obama.  I’ll have more to say about that later.  Somebody asked about Kwame Kilpatrick and I was quietly rejoicing about that until McCain came along and stole my joy.  I might have something to say on that next week when the Nigra goes to jail.

Anyhoo, I’ll be back on my game tomorrow.  Consider this an open thread and tell me what’s on your mind-especially what you thought of this:

RNC Day four: McCain accepts nomination

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Sen. John McCain by NewsHour.

I didn’t see it all, but I would recommend it as a sleep aid.  What say you?

RNC Opens: Cindy McCain and Laura Bush’s (humorous) appeal

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The miscreants behind this year’s Republican National Convention belatedly recognized that celebrating the ruling classes triumph over fair taxation and the destruction of the social safety net would look questionable juxtaposed with the disastrous flooding and carnage on the Gulf Coast.  Seeking to soften their perceived image as greedy capitalists with the American public, they trotted out Cindy McCain and Laura Bush to make a brief and seemingly heartfelt appeal:

 

Mrs. McCain: Thank You.  I am so honored and so proud to be standing next to Mrs. Bush.  As we  work together to extend our support to relief efforts in the gulf, as each of the gulf coast governors just expressed to us, their challenges will continue in the days ahead, but everything will be fine as long as our disaster capitalist cronies continue receiving no-bid contracts and reap record profits from doing a half-assed job undoing the damage of Hurricanes that God fortuitously sends their way.

 

I am sure that you’ve heard of another disaster hitting America today—Hurricane Palin and her daughter’s tacky, trailer park pregnancy.  17-year-old Bristol Palin deserves our pity and support in this trying time.  As John has been saying for the last several days, its time to take off our Republicans hats and get Bristol’s boyfriend a jimmy hat.  Together, we can prevent this girl from getting knocked up again.

 

In that spirit, we’d like to ask that you go to a website—it’s called birth control, fool.com and give the largest contribution that you can give.

 

Mrs. Bush:  I thank the heavenly father for the morning after pill. As the First Lady, I took the opportunity to smuggle some into the country from overseas before George legalized it in the U.S. God only knows how many babies Jenna and Barbara would have had after all their drunken carousing without it. 

Privilege by rstrawser.

 

 

Mrs. McCain: Speaking of the morning after pill, I told my girls that I woulda disinherited their spoiled little assess, like I did my sisters, if they pulled a stunt like this.

 

Mrs. Bush: Anyway, y’all, we Americans are known for coming to the aid of their fellow citizens when crises such as these arise.  Today, and in the coming days, let’s work together to provide those affected with the means to save face and continue their deceptive, racist, and demagogic campaign for continued Republican control of the White House.

 

Thank You and God Bless You

 

 

 

Sarah Palin: John McCain’s Right-Wing Covergirl

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The selection of the “easy, breezy, beautiful” Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is the boldest act of political jujitsu seen in decades. I told y’all that Barack Obama should have chosen a woman to close the opening that this selection runs right through. Machiavelli would be proud.

You’ve heard the Republican talking points about John McCain’s right-wing covergirl. She’s a hockey mom, political reformer, and female trailblazer that has served as a city councilwoman, Mayor, State Oil and Gas Commissioner and Governor. This post is about what you may not know or haven’t considered.

While the Democratic establishment is widely panning the selection of an untested and unknown Governor Palin, I think that most are missing the bigger picture. They have panned this choice as a nakedly illogical pander to white women, which is certainly true, but politics is not about what’s logical, it is about what people really feel and will never say. The most diehard Hillarycrats and PUMA activists have already pledged their support to John McSame, a rigidly pro-life conservative opposed to women’s reproductive rights, feminism and the concept of equal pay for equal work. Hillarycrats have panned Barack Obama as an empty suit and unqualified usurper who screwed Hillary Clinton out of her divine right to become the Democratic nominee.

As Tim Wise has written, the various excuses thrown out by Hillarycrats, like gender solidarity, blaming Barack for Hillary’s sexist manhandling by the media and Obama’s qualifications, conveniently masks Hillarycrats undercover racial resistance to the idea of electing a black president. He writes:

How is it that you have managed to hold your nose all these years, just like a lot of us on the left, and vote for Democrats who we knew were horribly inadequate–Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Dukakis, right on down the uninspiring line–and yet, apparently can’t bring yourself to vote for Barack Obama? A man who, for all of his shortcomings (and there are several, as with all candidates put up by either of the two major corporate parties) is surely more progressive than any of those just mentioned.

And how are we to understand that refusal–this sudden line in the proverbial sand–other than as a racist slap at a black man? You will vote for white men year after year after year–and are threatening to vote for another one just to make a point–but can’t bring yourself to vote for a black man, whose political views come much closer to your own, in all likelihood, than do the views of any of the white men you’ve supported before. How, other than as an act of racism, or perhaps as evidence of political insanity, is one to interpret such a thing

Karl Rove underscores the purpose of this pick for the uninitiated:

“It(s)… a clear sign from the McCain campaign that they were going to be making a very strong bid for the women whom they see up for grabs — both the traditional, swing independent suburbanites and then the Hillary Clinton supporters who remain disillusioned.”

McSame’s power move echoes the third law of power in Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power.

Law 3

Conceal your Intentions

Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

Governor Palin’s selection represents McCain scraping the bottom of a very shallow conservative barrel.

The Nation’s Christopher Hayes sights an Associated Press blurb from 1999:

Pat Buchanan brought his conservative message of a smaller government and an America First foreign policy to Fairbanks and Wasilla on Friday as he continued a campaign swing through Alaska. Buchanan’s strong message championing states rights resonated with the roughly 85 people gathered for an Interior Republican luncheon in Fairbanks. … Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage.”

Anybody who supported any of Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaigns is a hard-right troglodyte obsessed with immigration, “states rights,” the ever-increasing numbers of colored folks in America, and the religious right’s scorched earth culture war against abortion, homosexuality and the civil rights of the GLBT community.

Governor Palin opposes abortion rights—period. No exceptions. And the Governor is also a lifetime member of the gun nut NRA. She is a cynical sop to the hard right and to fanatical feminist dead-enders who refuse to listen to the entreaties of Hillary Clinton to vote for Barack Obama.

JOHN MCCAIN IN A DRAG

The conservative woman with the ideal resume to break the glass ceiling in Republican politics was New Mexico’s Heather Wilson. With a resume that reads like a political consultant’s wet dream, Congresswoman Wilson, the first female Air Force academy graduate elected to congress, is a Rhodes Scholar possessing a doctorate in international relations and an extensive background in military intelligence. Wilson served on the President’s National Security Council before her election to five terms in congress.

As a member of congress, Mrs. Wilson serves on the House Select Committee on Intelligence. The congresswoman has a couple of problems though. First, she is a nominally pro-choice Republican who supports stem cell research that is anathema to the pro-life lobby. Second, she sat on the House Page Board and claimed to know nothing about Congressman Mark Foley’s sick trolling for male pages. Additionally, she covered up incriminating case files detailing an investigation of her husband for playing grab ass with a teenage boy.

That was clearly not going to work. However, there were certainly others to whom McSame could turn.

THE OTHERS

Every senior Republican woman on Capitol Hill is more qualified than Sarah Palin—every woman. Maine Senator Olympia Snowe—the senior woman Republican on Capitol Hill, has served in congress for 30 years, longer than John McCain. She sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has been in the Senate for 15 years having first served as a state legislator and state Treasurer. Miss Kay is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and serves on both the Defense and Military Construction subcommittees.

Maine Senator Susan Collins, Joe Lieberman’s Republican concubine, has been on the Hill for 20+ years. Collins served as chief of staff for her Senate predecessor and was subsequently elected to office in her own right. A senator for 12 years, she is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and chaired the Senate Committee on Homeland Security in the last congress.

Every single one of these woman is nominally pro-choice and neither would have solved McSame’s problems with the reactionary base of the Republican Party. In no way is this a choice based on the merits—it’s hardball politics calculated to woo white voters, especially women, wary of electing a black man to the highest office in the land.

Don’t sleep on John McCain’s right-wing covergirl. Palin defeated the incumbent Governor of her own party and the state’s last Democratic Governor to assume power in the incestuous cesspool that is Alaska politics. Her personality and forthright demeanor are her greatest asset and are the single biggest reason for her 80% approval rating. She can appeal to disaffected Hillarycrats without doing much of anything. PUMA’s Darragh Murhpy described her selection as, “Bold and Brave” on tonight’s Hardball.

In my estimation, this selection confirms the Machiavellian genuflection to Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos and is an ominous symbol that the GOP is still wedded to the exploitation of race as wedge issue. So much for Obama’s attempts to be post-racial.