Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Post-Debate Blather

Barack was all jacked up on a variation of his stump speech. Mitt was his usual smirky, stammering, gushing self. For a minute there, I thought these two one percenters were gonna get physical. But sadly, only the platitudes flew fast and furious.

Still, it was edifying to learn that both contenders are such staunch defenders of a tenth of the Bill of Rights (Second Amendment.) We absolutely need more armed militias. The president told a heartwarming story of how one survivor of the Aurora mass shooting who took a bullet to the head is now good as new. You wouldn't even know he'd been shot to look at him today! So it's all good, even though a few unlucky duckies died. Mitt bragged that back in Massachusetts, the AK-47 lovers and the AK-47 haters made nice and compromised. He did not say how, but maybe they split the difference and agreed on AK-23.5's.

Both of them want to deport the foreign gang-bangers made possible by the government's criminally misguided War on Drugs. The undocumented folks who want to stay here may be able to score green cards if they first demonstrate willingness to spill their blood for the sake of American Empire. Mitt said one solution is for them to self-deport, because there sure as hell aren't many opportunities left here.

Barry name-dropped Lily Ledbetter as proof that he likes females. That law he signed, by the way, does not guarantee equal pay for equal work. It guarantees women the right to find out how much more their male co-workers are making compared to them, so they can try and find a pro-bono lawyer to sue in their behalf. Mitt bragged that he used to hire whole "binders-full"of women. He said he is different from George Bush. If elected he will complete the BTK Trifecta of the presidency. Bush tortured, Obama killed, and Mitt will bind. The serial imperial presidency writ large, skewed and disordered.

If you're a Romney fan, then Romney won. Obamabots are just orgasmic that their guy didn't nod off again. Except for the woman who asked about gun control, the questions were soft as a baby's butt, designed to pit the two preapproved duopolists against each other in a way that was vapidly devoid of all meaning. Both the wives wore hot pink, and the pundits pontificated how awwwwkward that was. Awwwwwgh.

Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the Green Party candidates, were arrested before the debate as they tried to get in. Even though they are on the ballot in 85% of the states, they were barred from participating. The corporatists have decreed that third party candidates have to be polling at least 15% to get invited. And since none of the pollsters include the Green Party in their surveys, the results were preordained. When the Quinnipiac people called me a few weeks ago, for example, asking if I wanted Romney or Obama, I said Jill Stein. And they said she wasn't on the list, so they were putting me down as "undecided". What a democracy.


Pearl said...

A lesson in logic:
The pundits seem to agree that it was a draw tonight and that each showed their strengths and weaknesses. I felt that they both did a solid job of proving the opposition was unable to fulfill their promises to the American people.
Conclusion: I therefore state that without a doubt neither candidate is fit for office.

Valerie said...

I tried to watch the Democracy Now version but EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE A GAZILLION unused megabytes, I couldn't get much of anything. So I will have to take your take, Karen - which is always on the mark as far as I am concerned.

Mittens won? Wow! I wasn't predicting that! It is usually one for each guy and the last is a draw. Maybe they are switching the order just to spice things up.

Great that Jill Stein tried to break in! I was going to vote for Rocky but I think I will switch to Stein after tonight. We need a fighter - that is for sure and Stein doesn't seem to shy away from a fight or arrest.

Yea, the surveys are crap. Kinda like when my daughter was a little girl. I would lay out three outfits for school that I wanted her to wear and let her choose one. She always felt autonomous but in reality, I was the one making the choices and the decisions.

Well, I need to get my absentee ballot filled out and in the mail tomorrow.

falken751 said...

If one knows who they are going to vote for or what party they will vote for (and they should know)they do not need to watch debates and if they don't know which party they will vote for, they are ignorant or stupid. I think I will go with stupid.

Anne Lavoie said...

What? No comment on the Libya twist and turn? Romney had Obama on the ropes about Libya, then Candy came to Obama's rescue just when he was going to be knocked out or at least knocked down hard.

Obama suddenly claimed he called the Libya incident Terrorism on Day 1 in a Rose Garden speech. (He did???) It had to have been his only comment on that incident, since the press corps hasn't been given press conferences for QUESTIONING for about a year, I understand.

Amazingly, Candy Crowley chimed in "Yes, he did! It's in the transcript!" since she just happened to be sooooo very familiar with exactly the words that Obama said he used in the Rose Garden that day. She sounded like a loyal wife siding with and protecting her man.

Obama's twist and her interjection didn't just save Obama from possibly being knocked down, but it caused Romney's hard right to miss the mark and throw him off balance. That left him deflated of energy the rest of the debate which was what that calculated move was intended to do. Candy played her part to perfection.

I was dumbfounded at that set-up performance. Candy was obviously handed a transcript of that speech by the White House before the debate so she could see the word 'terrorism' ('...will never defeat us' or similar vague phrase). But Obama didn't say that the Libyan incident was a terrorism. He just repeated the generic excuse for the USA being all over the world risking our lives - fighting terrorism.

So if Obama proclaimed from Day 1 that Libya was a terrorist attack, why did Susan Rice go on all the tv talk shows and say it was the reaction to the anti-Muslim video, and why did the media repeat the same?

I believe Obama won the debate with a big helping hand from Candy Crowley for quickly and deftly pulling him off the ropes and saving him from a knockdown and possibly a knockout blow.

All that hype about Candy being independent was just to increase tv viewership. She also gave Obama more time, repeatedly telling Mittens that he would have a chance later to rebut something or other, then didn't give it to him. Obama ended up using 4 additional minutes than Romney, even though we are assured she was keeping track. I'm sure she was!

Anyway, I already mailed my ballot in. I voted for Jill Stein.

James F Traynor said...

I spent the time watching and listening to George Carlin. Time well spent. There's a very good video of him on You Tube as a guest at The Actor's Studio; it explains a great deal about the man. He would of made a hash of the two contenders. Lightning fast and knowledgable, he was amazing.

Anne Lavoie said...


I read in the LA Times that the Free and Equal Elections Foundation announced that Larry King is going to moderate a third party presidential candidates debate on October 23rd. It will include Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, and Virgil Goode.

RT (Russia Today) will stream it online. RT, by the way, is a good source of news and interviews.

Will said...

As you would expect, the creative types of the Interwebs took Romney's "binders" comment from last night's debate and ran with it. Here are a few examples, plus some other good political stuff collected for your amusement at BuzzFeed. Enjoy:


Kat said...

Thanks for the tip. Although not a fan of King, I am heartened to see a big "name" take on such an important role-- and to see that he feels the debate process is unfair to third party candidates.

Zee said...

@Anne Lavoie--

Excellent analysis of the Obama-Crowley one-two punch delivered to Romney regarding the assault on, and killings at, the Benghazi Consulate.

I am no more a fan of Romney than I am of Obama, but this seemed a little too "pat" for me not to wonder, myself, if it was a setup for a sucker punch to Romney.

Denis Neville said...

Headache from hell, not from drinking last night, but from listening to the social media analysis of the tweet trends on Twitter during the debate. Seriously!

Mittens’ “Binders full of women” (who, by the way, needed to leave work at five in order to cook dinner) took the social media by storm, setting the Internet afire like the bombing of Dresden. It was a viral hit that overwhelmed the Internet! A Twitter hashtag was spontaneously born and a Facebook page with well over 250,000 fans was created before the debate was over. The domain name “bindersfullofwomen.com” was bought less than two minutes after it left Mitten's mouth and a Tumblr-powered website was up and running at the domain this morning.

Are we really this lame?

“We do not measure a culture by its output of undisguised trivialities but by what it claims as significant.” - Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

“One way of looking at the history of the human group is that it has been a continuing struggle against the veneration of ‘crap.’” - Neil Postman

spreadoption said...

George Carlin: I felt betrayed by religion, by my nation, and by my species.

Denis Neville said...

Spinning away about terrorism in Benghazi…

Team Obama people set Romney up, making sure that Candy Crowley had the transcript and knew the answer, which is why Crowley then said that while Romney was wrong on this detail, he was correct on the larger point?

Does it occur to anyone this whole incident would not have occurred at all if Obama hadn’t illegally gone to war in Libya without Congressional approval?

“Obama’s obfuscations on Benghazi were an attempt to continue masking the nature of the Libyan legions armed by the U.S. as proxies against Gaddafi, many of whom are now deployed in Syria – a mission with which Romney is in full accord. There is also no daylight between the contenders on drone warfare or the continued projection of U.S. power in the “Af-Pak” theater of war, or in Somalia and Yemen. The War Party wins in November, regardless of the Electoral College outcome.”

“These theatrical productions may pass for debates, but it’s really just the passing of gas within a closed Wall Street consensus. The two titans of America’s finance capitalist duopoly clashed – leaving behind a dull fart.” – Glen Ford


Kat said...

Here are some better words from a presidential candidate past:

Pearl said...

I am so sad to read that George McGovern is dying. To recall this man's life and what he stood and fought for, contrasted to the circus of pygmies going on in the country he loved then and now is disheartening to say the least.

To think that the American people threw away the opportunity to have a president of vision, decency and courage and chose Nixon instead those many years ago boggles the mind. He was not silent after his defeat and worked in many ways to keep the flame of truth alive.

I remember many years ago I was having a political discussion with my father who was very disgusted by what was going on in Washington and he included McGovern among those he castigated. Why? Because McGovern had made some critical statements about Israel's behavior when he served on a committee about the Middle east peace process which had angered my father who still believed then that Israel could do no wrong. He angrily challenged me to name anyone in or out of office who was honest, capable, courageous and trustworthy enough to lead the country. I looked at him and said, George McGovern. His mouth opened and closed and then he was silent. This was the first time during all our political discussions over the years that he had ever been at a loss for words.

Karen Garcia said...

Here is my reply to tonight's Gail Collins comment, repeating much of what I posted today:

And how about those women in handcuffs?

The Commission on Presidential Debates has banned Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala from participating, because they're not polling at 15%. When they staged a protest, they were arrested and actually cuffed to chairs while the two macho men of the Duopoly pandered to the womenfolk of America.

Never mind that Stein and Honkala are on the ballot in 85% of the states. That they aren't polling well is by cynical design; their names aren't even included on the voter surveys. When Quinnipiac called me last month to determine my presidential pick, and I replied "Jill Stein", I was told she wasn't an option. I am officially classified as Undecided.

The debates are a travesty and a repudiation of democracy. And the corporate media are in an S&M buzz over binders. Obama finally brought a gun to a gunfight! Mitt rode in on a blunderbuss!

Both men are thumbing their noses at assault weapons bans. And why not, since the American Empire is the biggest arms dealer on earth. Planetary rape via fracking and tar sands pipelines and polluter- enabled climate change continues. Both pretend coal can be clean. Both champion the virtues of the free market and want to lower corporate tax rates. And when Romney falsely claimed that Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt, Obama didn't even bother refuting him.

Is it any wonder that the Green Party women were literally bound and gagged for the duration of the sideshow?

James F Traynor said...


Yes. Incredible. A fascinating statement by Carlin. I've felt exactly that way myself, until I came to realize that we can't help it, it's what we are.

A scorpion asks a frog to carry him across a river.The frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and begins carrying the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature.

Still, perhaps it's also in our nature to fight what's in our nature. Let's hope so. Meanwhile we'll soldier on, doing what we do.

James F Traynor said...

@ Karen

Yeah, that really made we want to kick some ass. I'll have to watch the testosterone.

Pearl said...

Kat: Thank you for giving us that link to the beautiful column about
George McGovern. That and the comments following showed that he will not be forgotten and that I am not alone in my utmost respect for this great man. I had sent in my comment before seeing yours which was most welcome and appreciated.

Denis Neville said...

Would that we had a few more like George McGovern these days.

George McGovern gracefully aged while his country has not.

Too many remember McGovern as the failed presidential candidate of 1972, the ultimate liberal loser, a caricature painted by his political opponents. He was so much more than that.

“Of all the men that have run for president in the twentieth century, only George McGovern truly understood what a monument America could be to the human race.” - Hunter S. Thompson

Having myself grown up in South Dakota, these words ring true:

“There is a wholesomeness about life in a rural state that is a meaningful factor. It doesn’t guarantee you are going to be a good guy simply because you grow up in an agricultural area, but I think the chances of it are better, because of the sense of well-being, the confidence in the decency of life that comes with working not only with the land but also with the kinds of people who live on the land. Life tends to be more authentic and less artificial than in urban areas. You have a sense of belonging to a community.” – George McGovern

Bomber pilot during WW2, South Dakota congressman and senator (elected to five terms in Congress, three as senator), anti-war presidential candidate, champion of Food for Peace, working with Bob Dole (Rep. Senator, Kansas) on world hunger issues and an international school feeding program, and a true friend of the working man. McGovern's book The Great Coalfield War, which he called "one of the noblest and most courageous battles in U.S. history,” is testimony to his commitment to labor unions.

When he was asked what he would like his legacy to be, McGovern answered, “That I did everything humanly possible to end hunger and malnutrition in this country and in the world around us.”

George McGovern has always been one of my heroes.

Denis Neville said...

Only with rare exceptions have progressives demanded that Obama and other Democratic politicians support the progressive agenda or face consequences on election day. Instead, they always, like chameleons, change their expectations to match the DINOs.

Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy has deftly dissected two examples of left propaganda that state the case for voting for Obama.

“Charles P. Pierce's cynical defense of Obama,” has this message for us: ‘don't ask if Obama has failed you, ask if you've failed him.’ @

“The Nation's deeply deceptive Obama-endorsement editorial,” has two jobs for us: first, vote for Obama's reelection; second, somehow compensate for the fact that Obama is disinclined to do any good. @

DINOs don’t do anything that progressives want because progressives never punish them for not doing so. DINOs who don't need to please their base don't bother. For once, I’d like to see DINOs face the consequences by losing to progressives, not Republicans. When you choose the lesser of two evils, you still end up with evil. This is what doing just that has bought us.

Yet, Daniel Ellsberg tells progressives in swing states to vote for Obama.

How could he say that?

“A Romney/Ryan administration would be much worse, even catastrophically worse, on a number of other important issues: attacking Iran, Supreme Court appointments, the economy, women's reproductive rights, health coverage, safety net, climate change, green energy, the environment. I don't 'support Obama.' I oppose the current Republican Party. This is not a contest between Barack Obama and a progressive candidate. The voters in a handful or a dozen close-fought swing states are going to determine whether Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are going to wield great political power for four, maybe eight years, or not… To punish Obama in this particular way, on Election Day -- by depriving him of votes in swing states and hence of office in favor of Romney and Ryan -- would punish most of all the poor and marginal in society, and workers and middle class as well."

“Urging people in swing states to "vote their conscience" is, I believe, dangerously misleading advice. I would say to a progressive that if your conscience tells you on Election Day to vote for someone other than Obama in a battleground state, you need a second opinion. Your conscience is giving you bad counsel.”

Even Noam Chomsky said, "If I were a person in a swing state, I'd vote against Romney/Ryan, which means voting for Obama because there is no other choice."

We should never have opened the door to the lesser evil in the first place, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.

James F Traynor said...

I have to go along with Ellsworth and Chomsky on this.
It is class warfare as Warren Buffet pointed out and ended "...we're winning." This is a real war, very real, and we need time to martial our forces. An Obama administration will not do us any good and may well do us harm, but it will give us time.

Anyone living in a tossup state and voting third party or not at all is a holy fool. Very right but disastrously wrong.

Fred Drumlevitch said...

I tried to publish this comment here a couple days ago, but it seems to have gotten lost in transit, so here goes again, with an additional paragraph in answer to James F Traynor's recent comment (#21).

@Denis Neville (and @all):

What a great to-the-point quote from Glen Ford! And Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business", which I read several months ago based on its being referenced here at Sardonicky (I think by you, Denis), remains so very applicable to the operation of modern-day media and U.S. public perceptions. As Postman pointed out, the Lincoln-Douglas debates had both parties speaking eloquently for hours, during which they could develop both a detailed critique of the opponent, and their own vision. Compare the few minutes permitted per answer, and the trivialization/obfuscation encouraged by that format in what passes for presidential debates nowadays --- as Ford said, just the passing of gas.

Most objectionable, though, is the freezing-out of third-party candidates and progressive information from the mainstream media. We have been told, sometimes even by progressives, that while third-party candidates and small social movements haven't had much direct political success in U.S. history, they HAVE effected beneficial changes on the major political powers via changes in popular perceptions. How much is debatable, and even when that has occurred, it has often been unacceptably slow relative to what was needed. But nowadays, even that path is disappearing, as the major parties, the lackey politicians, the plutocrats, the corporations, the military-industrial-security complex --- all the elements that comprise our developing neo-fascism --- conspire to control the words and concepts that reach the bulk of the populace. The internet as liberator is an illusion when referring to most people; whether from mainstream media or the internet, most people get the bulk of their information from sources that have been co-opted, trivialized, or both. The "system" --- not monolithic but still an often mutualistically-operating aggregate of very powerful forces --- effectively controls that information, how problems are framed, and the perceived legitimacy of solutions. The result is a poverty of the popular political mind, and the mess we find ourselves in.

For the reasons I stated in a comment at Sardonicky some time ago, I'll definitely be voting third party for president this election. It'll probably be for Jill Stein, based on her appearance on Bill Moyers plus her gutsy willingness to get arrested to make fundamental points regarding social/economic justice and voter access to information. But --- and especially since I've decried the mainstream media freeze --- I'll hold off on a specific choice until after I've heard the other third party candidates via the RT stream and other sources.

I understand your point, James, but I see no sign that progressive forces are being martialed. I would argue that there is more evidence that they are being co-opted over time, as they have been throughout Obama's term, and were during most of Clinton's presidency. In any event, I don't think that there is even the slightest chance that Obama can win in Arizona, so my vote for a third party candidate is easy. Others elsewhere may need to think a bit harder in reaching a decision.