Posts Tagged ‘Election’

I’m still angered over President-Elect Obama and his support for the missile defense shield in Poland. The BBC reports that an Obama aide said he was “uncommitted” to the defense shield, contradicting the past statement that he supported it, which I alluded to yesterday.

I am relieved that Obama doesn’t explicitly support the missile shield, at least in public. As anyone who has followed politics over the past 8, 12, hell, even 40 years, going back to the Johnson administration, knows, what politicians say to the public is different from what they actually say behind closed doors, which is when they say what they mean. There cannot be a contradiction here; Obama cannot simultaneously support and be “non-committed” to the missile shield at the same time. To do so would be an example of Big Brother politicking: a fantasy world where war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. Due to the previously mentioned behavior of politicians, I’d wager that Obama was speaking the truth on the phone with President Kaczynski – all Kaczynski has to gain from the missile shield is a giant bullseye put on his chest from Russia, so why would he deliberately misquote Obama?

Yes, I realize that Obama isn’t making any decisions since he is not president yet, but I fear that he is showing is true colors as a mere politician – he isn’t showing any traits out of the ordinary except his charisma and speaking power. He has, regardless of his verdict on the shield, shown that he, like Bush, is going to be running an operation where the public talking points are different than what he’s actually doing – he acts contrary to what he says to the public. To lie to either the Polish president or the public is the same Bush schtick we’ve seen for the past 8 years, and I can’t make up my mind as to which action is worse. Recall how Colin Powell got in front of the UN and told them how grave the threat in Iraq was? Remember how Bush told us that Iraq had biological weapons and posed a serious threat to the United States? Those were statements that blatantly contradicted reality. If the reality in this situation is that Obama has committed to the missile shield, then he has lied by saying he “isn’t committed” to the missile shield; likewise, if the reality is that he isn’t committed to the missile shield, then he lied to the Polish president. It is, again, Orwellian in either case, where 2+2=5.

Again, if the latest story is true, I am relieved and somewhat pleased with Obama, though it doesn’t take away the fact that he lied (of course, there is a slight possibility that he misspoke, but you do not do that with an issue of this magnitude) to a leader of a foreign country. Remind you of the Bush administration?

People who voted Obama in as a “lesser of two evils” should remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil.

So, Will, enjoy your honeymoon with Barack. Hopefully you’ll be able to report on the bad decisions he makes while he’s president rather than president-elect, since that “-elect” somehow negates the legitimacy of his action. “Wait until he actually makes decisions!” you cry. But you forget that any action constitutes a decision, just as any decision constitutes an action. This is a decision he makes, just not as President of the United States. But, the point is, decisions he makes now are going to be indicators of what he will do as president. And it doesn’t look good.

To paraphrase a famous politician: this guy says he’s going to change politics, then he uses the same kind of doublespeak and contradictions we’ve seen from the Bush administration! This isn’t change we can believe in! This is 4 more years of the same, failed politics that put us in bad standing on the international stage.

(Although, I’ll admit, the sample size on the decisions is too small. We’ll have to, inevitably, wait and see)

In the greatest example of irony since McCain said, “In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations,” blacks, according to the LA Times, voted in favor of Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in California, in a 2-1 ratio (for every person voting no, two voted yes).

I’m awestruck about how blatantly ironic and hypocritical this is. Everyone who voted for Prop 8 should be ashamed of themselves for denying gays the right to marry based on certain religious beliefs; whatever happened to the separation of Church and state?

Here’s the irony: the demographic that has campaigned the strongest for civil rights in the history of this country is the same one to deny it to another group, based on what their imaginary friend Dog says.

…particularly Michael Moore, who said:

An African American has been elected President of the United States! Anything is possible! We can wrestle our economy out of the hands of the reckless rich and return it to the people. Anything is possible! Every citizen can be guaranteed health care. Anything is possible! We can stop melting the polar ice caps. Anything is possible! Those who have committed war crimes will be brought to justice. Anything is possible.

Michael, I’ll tell you when absolutely anything is possible: when we elect an atheist for president. When that happens, I’ll certainly believe that anything is possible.

Yes, voting in a black man is an important step forward for this country, but it doesn’t smash all the barriers of prejudice in this country. Voting in a “godless” person will be a much harder task to accomplish than it was to elect a black man, simply because discrimination based on religion is in vogue, while racism is unacceptable in our society.

There were riots across the country last night, but of pride: Barack Obama was named president elect in a landslide victory over resident maniac John McCain. Many people shed tears witnessing Obama’s victory speech at Grant Park last night, believing that they had claimed a major victory for America, saving it from the evil GOP overlords. Their hero was Obama, and (pardon me for using a tired cliche) he appeared to be a Messianic figure, at least in their eyes.

Obama is not going to radically change Washington. Let’s get that out of the way – the president does not have the type of power in order to enact that kind of change. Our primary legislative body here in the United States is not the President or his administration, but Congress. If the head of state were to enact a massive change across the board like Obama says he will, he’d be a dictator to any other nation.

But here’s the catch: Obama, simply, won’t be able to change Washington as much as he says he will. And that’s a good thing.

Yes, I know that by not accomplishing what he immediately set out to do will disenfranchise voters. But it will be good for the country, just like when Clinton was forced to abandon his health care policy. And this is why Obama is the next Clinton.

Mark my words, people: Obama is simply not capable of changing Washington the way he wants you to think. He can’t put an end to partisan bickering or hackery. He can’t put an end to Washington’s corporate ties. He can’t put an end to the lobbying that goes on. He can’t tell Congress exactly what to do (after all, isn’t that a Bush-esque thing to do?).

While he may not be able to fundamentally change Washington from the bottom up, Obama can be a great president while alienating his supporters at the same time (abandoning a national healthcare initiative, for one). He can be a steadfast supporter of all peoples, friend or foe (love thy enemy). He can be willing to work with both parties, taking the time to hear proposals from the Republican minority and the Democratic majority. He can, dare I say it, be conservative, limiting the policies he enacts, while protecting the freedoms of the American people.

But, most importantly, he must do this: he must respect the limits of power imposed on the office of the President. That’s change enough for me.

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Looking ’round the blogosphere, I’ve observed that just about everyone and their brother is talking about the election, since it’s election day in this country. Don’t follow suit.

Why, you ask?

1. Everyone Else is Doing It

This one is self-explanatory – the more people are doing something, the less interesting it becomes. And you don’t want to be like everyone else, do you? I mean, look at what mass movements have done before: Nazism. The Bolshevik Revolution. The Spanish Inquisition. The Crusades. Al-Qaeda. The list goes on and on. When you see the masses move in one direction, you should immediately swing in the other, and this case is no different.

2. Other People Get Paid To Do It

There are tons of people working for various mainstream news networks that are actually being paid to cover the election. This means that they’re professionals. And, if they’re professionals, they’re definitely going to put their heart and souls into their work (that is, if journalism’s even alive). These professionals are going to blow anything an amateur like yourself is going to write out of the water. They possess superior writing skills and far better resources, while you have nothing to do but quote their reports for their data and their opinion. Plus, they’re much, much better looking than you. And you know how the masses flock to those who look good – just look at Sarah Palin! Or Britney (Spears)! Or anyone else!

3. You Have Better Things To Do

Go outside (no, don’t vote) and have fun. Read a book. Play cards with your friends (though, if you’re a blogger, you don’t have friends) and family. Talk with your kids. Eat some ice cream. Have sex. Do SOMETHING other than waste your time covering the election on your blog. Just have fun doing anything at all will be a nice change of pace while your stupid coworkers are holding election parties. Yes, it may seem super-important to you that you cover this (apparently) historic election and get your voice heard on the internet, but, really…

4. No One Cares

You’re one of those people whose heart leaps every time he gets 10 views on his blog, thinking that all those articles you read over at Copyblogger helped you reap 50% gains in traffic. You use Google Analytics to track all of your 4 unique viewers in a day, desperately trying to find ways to attract more people to your site. You think those 4 visitors (who barely found you using a Google search) really give two shits what you think about the election? Do you think that they’ll actually pay attention to your pitiful, whiny attempts at liveblogging? No! Of course not!

4.5. The Election’s Over Anyways

Bow down to the DRE-700!

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fivethirtyeight’s final election prediction is that Obama goes on to predict an Obama victory of 349 electoral voted to McCain’s 189. McCain also has, I kid you not, a 1% chance of winning this thing.

I’ll be brief here: it’s still possible, very possible in fact, for McCain to win. Let’s remember that fivethirtyeight uses every poll conceivable in order to predict the potential outcomes of the election. I know that this is a scary thought, but consider the possibility that the polls are wrong. If one protests that fact, one only needs to look at the exit polling during the 2004 election – there has been quite a stir over their inaccuracies on the internet and elsewhere. If those polls are wrong, what prevents these polls from being wrong as well (though, statistically speaking, it’s quite hard for these polls to be unanimously incorrect, but I’ll counter that below)?

What about the silent GOP voting machine that has lay dormant, not responding to polls, and such? Where have they been? Or has it been fairly represented; after all, there’s still a chance that Obama could actually lose the popular vote.

But does anyone care about baseless speculation, like the above? No! After all, speculating is what got us into this mess to begin with.

I figured I’d share these with you guys:

…in terms of the economy.

Yes, the difference between Obama and McCain is simply staggering when we’re talking about their temperament, and their stances on foreign policy, the economy, healthcare, education, and so forth. But here’s the problem: what they do isn’t going to change a thing, or, at least, save us from the ruin (economically) that we’ll find ourselves in.

Yes, Obama does intend to put more costly government plans in place (which some have likened to socialism! The horror!) and McCain does intend to cut taxes a little bit, but that won’t do anything to stop the apocalyptic horror that’s looming on the horizon: the retiring of the baby boomers.

Since everyone’s focused on the world’s banking system collapsing, it’s been a nice diversion for the candidates, since they get to avoid a simple question that shouldn’t even been asked: what are you going to do about Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid? It’s simply staggering how the issue has become invisible on this campaign, considering how important this is going to be in the long run. In fact, I’d regard it as a world-changer – how the Social Security system handles all of the baby boomers retiring. If the government somehow conjures money out of thin air by borrowing from foreign banks, they may be able to stave off collapse for a little while more. But, as we’ve seen in our current financial downturn, borrowing is absolutely not the answer.

If we’re going to have any hope of reversing our course in this, we’re going to have to jack up taxes on everything in order to pay for Social Security alone, not to mention the national healthcare initiative and a growing defense budget as we near spreading our War on Terror to new frontiers, a la Pakistan and Iran. We’ve seen the national deficit rise $5 trillion under Bush with his tax plan – so what makes anyone think that we’re not going to face a much greater burden with a McCain, or even an Obama administration, since the tax revenues from taxing the upper crust more isn’t even going to bring in enough money to pay off all the debts we’re incurring now (that, coupled with tax cuts to the middle class will cancel it out). What makes anyone think we’ll be able to tackle the increased social security burden from the baby boomers?

As Thomas Sowell put it:

Politicians may decide to give Social Security pensions with one hand and take back part of it with the other hand in higher taxes. Or they could jack up the Social Security taxes on the working population. Or they may do some combination of these things.

What they will not do is tell you that Social Security was a lie from day one. Your taxes were never being put aside in some “trust fund” and there cannot be any “lock box” for these non-existent funds, for Congress has the power to spend every dime that reaches Washington — and can borrow more on top of that.

Social Security has been a pyramid scheme from the beginning. Those who paid in first received money from those who paid in second — and so on, generation after generation. This was great so long as the small generation when Social Security began was being supported by larger generations resulting from the baby boom.

But, like all pyramid schemes, the whole thing is in big trouble once the pyramid stops growing. When the baby boomers retire, that will be the moment of truth — or of more artful lies. Just like Enron.

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One story, or two rather, get the honors in today’s GBI:

Good, Bad, and Insightful

Nicholas Sarkozy better watch out: he’s got voodoo dolls of him in France. FP Passport reports:

Nicholas Sarkozy has no trouble laying the smack down on Somali pirates, but it seems his coat of armor is a wee bit thin when he’s the brunt of a joke. A voodoo doll, bright blue and crafted in his image, has the French president throwing a tantrum.

The doll, put out by K&B publishing company earlier this month, comes complete with a set of pins and a voodoo manual that instructs users how to cast a spell. The doll’s body is decorated with quotes of Sarkozy’s most unpopular quips. Across the doll’s pelvic area is the word “scum”, the term which sparked much controversy when he used it to describe suburban youth shortly before riots broke out in 2005.

Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, has threatened to sue K&B and insisted the 20,000 dolls be removed from the shelves. “Nicolas Sarkozy has charged me with reminding you that he commands an exclusive and absolute right over his image,” Thierry said. “Regardless of his status and fame.”

And the Church of the Apocalyptic Kiwi has a post that links the exposure of Sarah Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe, and yes, that’s the correct figure. $150,000.

Haven’t you ever wanted to be That One? How about the One? How about both? No worries — follow these 5 steps and you’ll be like the next president of the United States in absolutely no time at all.

1. Have a Funny Sounding Name

Since most of us don’t have the benefit of having a Kenyan father or being born in Honolulu, you’ll have to change your name to something foreign sounding, preferably something of Middle Eastern origin. Best names and surnames include:

Bin Laden
Osama
Talibani
Jong Il
Mohammed
Ali
Jesus
Shiva
Raj

and so on. Make sure that your first, middle, and last names are all from the same region (again, preferably the Middle East) so you’re just like Barack. The whole name is an effort to get your clearly corrupt and failed enemies to accuse you of being foreign, unpatriotic, un-American, and, above all, a terrorist.

2. Talk Obsessively About Change and Hope

You don’t have to specify what exactly the change is — as you act like it’s obvious that the world needs changing! Just repeat “change” like it’s your mantra, it is your mantra, and if anyone actually asks what you mean, tell them to look around — if they’re smart they’ll see exactly what needs changing, which is, you’ll assert, everything. Everything needs changing: the government, the weather, the army, the school system, your kid’s diaper, what we eat, and so on.

At the same time, stress that, like Luke Skywalker, you’re our only hope. Only you are able to enact the change you want to see in the world — and you should carry yourself that way. Say that your opponents are corruptly running the system and they’re what needs changing; if you get power over *whatever*, you’ll make sure that you’ll fix them. Or something. Remember: don’t specify what change means exactly, unless you’re giving a nationally televised speech, since you’ll confuse the 80% of the populace that doesn’t know what the current conditions are.

3. Make Millions Your Adoring Fans

How do you do this? Woo them with your good looks, make friends with everyone you meet, handing them your “business” cards, which include only your name and one of your mantras like “Change”, “Hope”, “The Future”, and “The Man”. Set up a ridiculously well-maintained and professional website, encouraging your followers to donate to your cause of taking over the world, and sell accompanying memorabilia with your face, name, and mantras on it in obnoxiously large letters. Tell them to tell your friends about you. Drive to random cities and talk with the townsfolk, talking to them about your complex platform of Change and Hope, all the while subtly implying that they need to donate to your cause. Give random speeches in the middle of of town, again sticking to your platform of hope and change. They will come to adore you, I promise.

4. Become a Master At Public Speaking

Of course, if you’re really hoping to become cultural, political, and public hero/icon, you’re going to have to be eloquent and, at the same time, easy to understand, just like Barack Obama. Pause so your listeners know that you’re thinking out your answers, then deliver a succinct and easy-to-understand answer, just like Barack does. Bonus points if you look at someone in the crowd during the entire time you’re speaking, and everything is factual. When speaking, you should be totally relaxed and think that you have the crowd won over already, because arrogance confidence is the number one way to win a crowd over. Speak with a deep voice, and use a particularly hyperbolic vocabulary, stressing the bad as very bad, and the good as very good. Again, stick to your talking points of Change and Hope, implying that you’re going to do the exact opposite of what’s been done because you say that our current policies have made earth hell on earth. Don’t elaborate any further than that!

5. Become an Elitist

Go to Columbia, go to Harvard and graduate magna cum laude, and become a lawyer, raking in cash from your clients. Become well known before you start your campaign by writing a best-selling autobiography. Use an iPhone, proving your ultimate Apple snobbery. Buy Starbucks and designer clothing and furniture, and own a $1.5M home in a rich area of a metropolis.

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