Sunday, October 19, 2008

Almost Over-- And Then On With The Hard Part


A friend of mine told me that Esquire had endorsed Obama for president. I guess everyone has an opinion about politics. Everyone has an asshole too. I'll have to take her word for it that they endorsed Obama. I started looking for it online and got distracted by their best of and worst of lists of members of Congress. They really are such absolute uncomprehending idiots that I couldn't keep reading. Of the 10 "best" members of Congress, they managed to find two good ones-- Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)-- while naming some of the worst members of either house, like clueless neocon extremists Mike Pence (R-IN), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Ike Skelton (D-MO), Mike Simpson (R-ID), and Mark Pryor (D-AR). It appears that the only criterion they used is that none of their picks have been indicted for bribery.

They did somewhat better with the "worst of" list, topping it off with the a small man of "quavering sanctimony," Joe Lieberman, along with Michele Bachmann (R-MN)-- the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy, who, they point out gives "the impression that if, in the name of 'traditional values,' Bachmann could rescind the vote for women, she would. Her vacant, wild eyes recall a doomsday prophet, or one of Charlie Manson's girls. Equal parts religious hack and party hack, she's got spunk and not much else."-- Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), John Cornyn (R-TX), William Jefferson (D-LA), Steve King (R-IA)-- toeing "the fine line between idiocy and bigotry"-- Joe Baca (D-CA), and Ted Stevens (R-AK). Their inclusion of Pete Stark (D-CA), one of Congress' smartest and most clear-eyed members should put Esquire into anyone's "worst of" magazine lists. 2laneIA at DailyKos had more patience-- not to mention eloquence-- than I did in going over the list, especially in regard to King.

While Esquire, like almost all of the superficial insider media-- not to mention superficial insider advocacy groups (think HRC and League of Conservation Voters)-- twists itself into pretzels to prove how nonpartisan and "seriously adult" it is-- putting its stamp of approval on extremist loons no better than a Hitler or Mussolini-- this year's "best of" magazine list would have to include Rolling Stone.

Matt Taibbi and Tim Dickinson have been doing the kind of job that one would wish a pathetic hack like Broder could even imagine. And this week, Rolling Stone exposes the real story about voter fraud being played out in the run-up to November. And that real story has nothing to do with ACORN, other than the McCain campaign's cynical attempt to use it to cover its own premeditated and scurrilous attempts to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters across the battleground states.
In state after state, Republican operatives-- the party's elite commandos of bare-knuckle politics-- are wielding new federal legislation to systematically disenfranchise Democrats. If this year's race is as close as the past two elections, the GOP's nationwide campaign could be large enough to determine the presidency in November. "I don't think the Democrats get it," says John Boyd, a voting-rights attorney in Albuquerque who has taken on the Republican Party for impeding access to the ballot. "All these new rules and games are turning voting into an obstacle course that could flip the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states."

Suppressing the vote has long been a cornerstone of the GOP's electoral strategy. Shortly before the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, Paul Weyrich — a principal architect of today's Republican Party — scolded evangelicals who believed in democracy. "Many of our Christians have what I call the 'goo goo' syndrome — good government," said Weyrich, who co-founded Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell. "They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. . . . As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

Today, Weyrich's vision has become a national reality. Since 2003, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, at least 2.7 million new voters have had their applications to register rejected. In addition, at least 1.6 million votes were never counted in the 2004 election-- and the commission's own data suggests that the real number could be twice as high. To purge registration rolls and discard ballots, partisan election officials used a wide range of pretexts, from "unreadability" to changes in a voter's signature. And this year, thanks to new provisions of the Help America Vote Act, the number of discounted votes could surge even higher.

Except for the actual communal exercise of ritual democracy and the Republican Party's last ditch, concerted efforts to thwart that, the election is as good as over. And about time; we're going to have to-- as a society-- deal with defending ourselves from those who have been running the show for the past decade or so-- and waging successful class warfare against the rest of us.
Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.

Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are in line to pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted criticism. The government's cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay would be curbed.

Pay plans for bankers have been disclosed in recent corporate statements. Pressure on the US firms to review preparations for annual bonuses increased yesterday when Germany's Deutsche Bank said many of its leading traders would join Josef Ackermann, its chief executive, in waiving millions of euros in annual payouts.

The sums that continue to be spent by Wall Street firms on payroll, payoffs and, most controversially, bonuses appear to bear no relation to the losses incurred by investors in the banks. Shares in Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have declined by more than 45% since the start of the year. Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have fallen by more than 60%. JP MorganChase fell 6.4% and Lehman Brothers has collapsed.

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At 9:19 PM, Blogger Rena said...

Take a look at the Oklahoma page for the Esquire endorsements. They say that on their Worst list, they made a mistake: really it's Inhofe.

Or, if you still don't want to look, take a look at my post on the Oklahoma endorsements.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger KELSO'S NUTS said...

DWT: My first visit to your blog. I love the way your think and write. I've linked to you and praised you on our spot.

I do of course take exception to your view of Colin Powell, whom I take to be a sadist, coward, lying, greedy sociopath. His endorsement was anything but eloquent. He touched on a few bullshit themes that Obama, Axelrod and Plouffe came up with at the outset. Powell may have endorsed Obama the candidate but he didn't endorse Barack Obama's IDEAS.

I laid out on another comment to you why Baker is a zillion times the man Powell is.

My only disagreements with you.

I really enjoy your blog.


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