When you stage a train wreck of this magnitude -- trying to pass one underqualified chick off as another highly qualified chick with the lame hope that no one will notice -- well, then, I don't feel bad for you.
When you treat women as your toys, as gullible and insensate pawns in your Big Fat Presidential Bid -- or in Palin's case, in your Big Fat Chance to Be the First Woman Vice President Thanks to All the Cracks Hillary Put in the Ceiling -- I don't feel bad for you.
When you don't take your own career and reputation seriously enough to pause before striding onto a national stage and lying about your record of opposing a Bridge to Nowhere or using your special-needs child to garner the support of Americans in need of healthcare reform you don't support, I don't feel bad for you.
When you don't have enough regard for your country or its politics to cram effectively for the test -- a test that helps determine whether or not you get to run that country and participate in its politics -- I don't feel bad for you.
When your project is reliant on gaining the support of women whose reproductive rights you would limit, whose access to birth control and sex education you would curtail, whose healthcare options you would decrease, whose civil liberties you would take away and whose children and husbands and brothers (and sisters and daughters and friends) you would send to war in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and wherever else you saw fit without actually understanding international relations, I don't feel bad for you.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
There are a few things that I just don't understand about a lot of politicians today that classify themselves as Republicans. Conservatism, as I understand it, follows a set of ideals that include a smaller government and a free market economic policy. Regan's quote, "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" is a popular one among many Republicans, as is Ronald Regan. Keeping government out of people's lives as much as possible can be a good thing in some cases, and encouraging competition in the markets is also a very good idea in my mind. And keeping taxes low, being fiscally responsible- who doesn't love those ideas? And yet, and yet.
Many Republicans today stand on a platform that wants to tell you who you can and cannot marry, and what women can and cannot do with their bodies. We have a deficit that is skyrocketing, and has been for awhile. The current administration has increased surveillance among its citizens and has taken away civil liberties (just look at the way people are treated in airports, for an example). To me, this doesn't sound like government staying out of the way, much less staying small. And now, the government has tried to take over huge parts of our financial system. What about this, exactly, classifies as conservative?
What confuses me the most is the "pro-life" stance. Look, let's all agree that we want to see less unwanted pregnancies. That's how we all feel, liberal, conservative, etc. So some Republicans want to outlaw abortion. My question is, then what? So young women, poor women, women who know the men who got them pregnant won't stick around, will have to carry the baby to term. What do Republicans then offer to do for them? As far as I know, they haven't offered to significantly increase funding to programs for teen moms to help them adjust to having a child, they haven't proposed quality government funded child care, or any other programs that would increase the quality of life for young mothers, and the current Republican nominee wouldn't require that health insurance covers contraceptives. Most Republicans also want to keep gay couples from adopting. So what help are they offering to young women if they want them to carry their babies to term? I've heard Palin and McCain say they want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and that is an argument that I, someone who considers herself very much pro-choice, will be willing to listen to if they can provide quality follow up to that decision. By endorsing abstinence only education and keeping contraceptives out of reach, I'm assuming they think they will also keep people from having sex. This is nothing but idiotic.
The "and then what?" question is the part of the argument that you rarely hear, because all those programs will cost big bucks, and Republicans also run on a platform of being fiscally conservative, which means keeping the cost of government programs down.
I hate the idea that I have to identify myself as a "liberal" or a "conservative," as I think that some liberals as well as some conservatives have good ideas. However, I do not consider our current administration "conservative," (and I'm not the only one). Although I do think that there are some traditional conservative policies that I could get behind, it seems that the majority of Republicans these days don't follow these ideals anymore. Maybe it's time for them to come up with a new party name.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
From the NYT:
At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.
McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.
Are you fucking kidding me? We are now rigging the debate formats to compensate for a know-nothing, mendacious Manchurian candidate drilled in meaningless talking points? And the Obama team agreed to this? And so did the press?
She's been the VP nominee for three weeks, but where the hell has she been? No press conference? Two interviews? And now we are dumbing down our debates for her.
God, I am fucking tired of this.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
People are getting very worried, but I think that there are some positives that can be seen in this mess. Lets look at the positives of this crisis on an individual level:
- Most people will probably curtail their credit card use and try to stay away from debt.
- Stocks are on sale! The stock market will go up someday, and shares are at bargain basement prices. Buy up!
- With financial news being on the front page of every paper, people will become more versed in financial terms and products, and this financial literacy will help them someday for planning to buy a home, start a family, and save for retirement.
- People will actually save their money, maybe even create a cushy emergency fund (a savings of anywhere from 3-12 months of living expenses). People will research good savings rates, better CD rates, and actually read prospectus' of mutual funds in order to find the best one to invest their money in.
- Maybe Americans will now stop buying a ton of crap they don't need, driving down the ideology that consumerism is what defines us.
- People won't eat out as much, which may result in weight loss. This weight loss can help with health issues, possibly driving down their health insurance expenses.
Monday, September 15, 2008
For further reading, click here.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Since the Democratic and Republican conventions, the media and blogs have been going crazy with analysis of every single move the candidates and their running mates have made (Palin, mostly), and I was keeping up with it pretty consistently. I read through the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and a few of the blogs regulary, and it all came to a head this past Friday: I have Presidential Campaign Fatigue.
The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Obama started a long time ago. I was a senior in college when they announced their plans to run for president, and I graduated in May 07. I have been following the news since then, and it seems like it has been going on forever. I think about other things I was doing at the time- an internship, going to class, and I feel as if this campaign is just neverending. Then on Thursday night, I had The Dream. In The Dream, it was election night, and I was watching tv for the results, and it turned out that everyone was so sick of all the fighting between the two parties and how long it had gone on for that they actually voted George W. Bush back to office for a third term!
This is when I knew I needed a break from politics. I'll still read the news, but I'm going to take a break from the blogs because they tend to analyze each move the most, and then they all link to another blog which links to another blog which can becoming a never ending chain. I'll blog about other things, and if something major happens in the campaigns I'll blog about it as well, but for the most part, I just need a break. Maybe just a week or two, but I want to make sure I never have another dream of George W. Bush again.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I very rarely watch The View, but they recently had an interview with McCain where they actually asked some real, straightforward questions, questions that we haven't seen from journalists. They flat out ask him, will you work towards overturning Roe v. Wade, do you believe in the separation of church and state, and who Gov. Palin plans on "reforming," considering that her own party has been in the White House for eight years. These ladies (especially you, Barbara!) really pushed him for answers. It was actually incredibly refreshing, click here to watch the segments.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I read in a couple of places that Palin may have had something to do with objecting to legislation that would have the state of Alaska cover the cost of rape kits for rape victims, the alternative being that the victims pay themselves. I thought that it was too horrible to be true, and that no person, especially a woman, could make rape victims cough up to $1,200 for a rape kit in order to help identify her attacker. When I heard about it I thought briefly, "maybe she did it so that she could help pay for the new hockey rink," and I wasn't the only one to think that:
If there is any chance that she had something to do with it, then this just depresses and disgusts me.
According to a May 22, 2000, article in the Wasilla Frontiersman, when then Gov. Tony Knowles signed legislation "protecting victims of sexual assault from being billed" for those tests ("rape kits" of evidence collected in hospitals for law enforcement use), "one local police chief" objected, saying that the new law would "further burden taxpayers." Taxpayers who, as it turns out, were saving up for a sales tax increase that would pay for a hockey rink. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just with this: The extra $1.3 million in legal costs -- a "financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.")
That police chief was Charlie Fannon -- a Sarah Palin appointee -- who argued that the law would cost the Wasilla Police Department $5,000 to $14,000 a year. (Depending on the actual cost of the kit, that math may be disturbing in and of itself.) "The forensic exam is just one part of the equation. I'd like to see the courts make these people pay restitution for these things," Fannon said, noting that he intended to include the cost of the exams in a restitution request as a part of a criminal's sentencing.
How much did then Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin actually have to do with this? Who knows. Chances are we'll never find that memo. (And, benefit of the doubt, given that she'd want those victims to continue with any resulting pregnancy, you'd think she'd want them to start saving now.) But still: It doesn't look good. As Bitch Ph.D. notes: "One can only assume that she supported Wasilla's policy of billing rape victims for their own rape kits ... not only because Fannon was her appointee, but also because this was four years into her tenure as mayor and because, let's be honest: in a town of that size, the mayor doesn't get to plead ignorance of policies or public statements of her own chief of police."
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
When I first saw that Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain's VP, I immediately thought that he was just choosing her to appeal to Hillary's women, even though their policies are basically completely opposite. So I figured that night about I would blog about that, but then I started reading all the blogs and news articles on her, and I figured I'd read more before blogging. Well, the articles never stopped. Sarah Palin has been mentioned in almost every blog I read regularly, and it seems that every hour something new is unveiled about her. Even though I am usually consistent in posting links to articles I have read, since there were so many on her I can't remember all the links. So, I'll just summarize what has been going on in the Internets:
Andrew Sullivan has been going crazy, certain that McCain did not properly vet her. Feministing hasn't stopped listing her anti-women policies. She has slashed funding for programs that help teen moms, something that has been pointed out now that her teenage daughter is pregnant. Oh, yeah, and if you haven't heard, her unmarried 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. The father is a guy who described himself as a "fucking redneck" on his Myspace page, before it was taken down. Palin has been involved in something called "Trooper-gate" and either does or doesn't support some bridge that doesn't go anywhere. Her kids all have weird names, Palin is very much anti-abortion, and when she found out her youngest son had Down syndrome, she decided to have him anyway (which implys that she had a "choice," which she believes women don't have...but I'll get to that in a minute). She may or may not have had some type of deals with government officials who deal with "pork barrel" things and "earmarks," which I think McCain really hates. Oh, and also, her and her husband were members of a political party that in the past has seeked a vote for seccession from the United States. Her church also may support Jews for Jesus, or have had some type of lecture recently about Jews being killed in the Holocaust being their punishment for not believing in Jesus.
Now of course, the million dollar questions is if McCain had any freakin clue that she took part in any of these things before vetting her, because if he did, then what the crap was he thinking?
I have read articles on Palin and McCains choice on Andrew's blog, Slate, Jezebel, WaPo, Feministing, the many NYT articles, both of Maureen Dowd's columns on her, and some other NYT columns about Palin. It's a blogosphere shit storm, basically. But what I found the most interesting was what Rebecca Traister, one of my favorite Salon writers, wrote about the pregnancy of her daughter:
Of course, there are indeed some very real, very serious issues raised by the revelation of Bristol Palin's pregnancy...The first, and most serious issue raised by today's official story is that the language used in the public statement about Bristol is at odds with the McCain-Palin line on reproductive rights. According to the New York Times story, "Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said." That's just peachy in its presumption that Bristol had a choice about whether or not to continue her pregnancy. It's true that in 2008, she certainly does have a legal choice. But she wouldn't under the proposed administration of her mother and John McCain, both of whom oppose abortion rights and tell us they would work to overturn Roe.
Palin has used pro-choice language to describe her daughter's pregnancy, saying that she has decided to carry the baby to term. But according to McCain and Palin's beliefts, women don't have that choice.
In the news release, the McCain campaign made sure to state that:Palin is everywhere, and I'm interested to see how this will play out.Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.
While it's obvious why they made this statement to assure the public that Bristol was not coerced into keeping the baby (after all, she does have a parent who is a staunch opponent of the right to choose and is currently on the Republican presidential ticket), as my significant other pointed out, there's some serious hypocrisy at play here. I mean, John McCain and Sarah Palin don't believe women have a right to choose. It's absolutely absurd for the campaign to emphasize the fact that Bristol "made this decision," and then push for policies that take away that choice.In reality, Bristol's actual "choice" was probably not whether to terminate the pregnancy or carry it to term, but whether raise the child herself or put it up for adoption. But the reason that the McCain campaign chose to emphasize Bristol's agency in this decision was to reassure the public that this pregnancy is not coercive. They know the public wants to feel secure in the knowledge that it was Bristol's choice to keep the pregnancy. And coming from the McCain campaign, which opposes a woman's right to choose, that statement is disgusting.