Tag Archives: Palin

US Elections: The End is in sight.

Praise be to Thor. Finally, after what has felt like a campaign that lasted my entire life, the US presidential election is about to be over. I can not express in words the true depth of my relief.

For months now we have had coverage of the run-up to today on pretty much every news bulletin. The early stages were just annoying – outlines of the varying candidates as they slugged it out to represent their parties. As the election got near though, it has become a joke. We have local news stations running “US Election specials” – when I can pretty much guarantee that there are no more than one or two listeners who even have a chance to vote.

Today was the worst, although it points to the light at the end of the tunnel, with almost blanket coverage. Odin forbid something newsworthy happens today (for example, a series of bombs in Northern Ireland) because it isn’t getting any coverage. Instead we get to listen to genuinely subnormal people, who actually have got a vote, demonstrating their prejudice and ignorance.

Having met quite a few Americans, all have turned out to be basically normal so I can only assume the examples on the radio were specially selected to demonstrate ignorance, racism and general stupidity. Shame on all the news agencies. (Shame on America for making such ignorance socially acceptable anywhere inside its borders).

Here in the UK, the coverage of the US election has, without a doubt, been greater than the coverage of a UK parlimentary election. The only thing missing would be daily party political broadcasts. Being an avid news watcher, I feel I have been fed so much about the elections I should have a right to vote. I could certainly make more of an informed decision than some of the whackos on the radio.

The madness of this was highlighted on BBC Radio 1 yesterday. During one of the shows (Scott Mills) a researcher went out and asked members of the British Public how they would vote in the election today. Every single person asked named a politician they would vote for. None passed comment on it being the US elections, there was the implicit assumption that people could vote. When challenged if he could vote in the elections today, one person said “Yes, I am 19, of course I can vote.”

Now, survey techniques aside, this pretty much shows how much we have endured over this election. Finally the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight.

The big problem remains what is that light? Is it the end of the tunnel or an on-coming train?

Where angels fear to tread..

So, here I am, rushing in like a fool… (and interspersing my rant with palinisms, thus inspiring complete confidence in the down-home wisdom of anything I say)

I can understand pretty well nothing about the “credit crunch.” Except that we seem to have got worse and worse at naming things. The “Great Depression” has a certain grandeur. The “credit crunch” sounds like a crappy breakfast cereal.

* hey joe*

And naming things seems to be the crucial component of this crisis. When “money” is the cause of the whole fiasco, it must be so much a matter of what people believe. Money is paper backed up by promises. If you don’t trust the promises, what value does the paper have? As far as I can see, once money is divorced from production there is nothing to back it up.

If a steelworks goes bankrupt, it has assets: plant, materials, the skills of its workforce. Someone else can buy its carcass and make steel. If a bank goes bankrupt, all it has is the ghost of bits and bytes on a computer system. You surely couldn’t treat the financial skills of its money-making experts as a saleable commodity, on the present showing.

*maverick*

Is it possible that enough people have £50,000 in savings to make it worth the UK government’s electoral while to guarantee £50,000 rather than £33,000?

How the fuck could anyone “save” £50k? The “savings” word conjures up an image of respectable austerity. Making do and mending. People buying supermarket own-brand tins of beans, rather than the costlier branded version. Darning sweaters rather than throwing them out at the first hint of a hole. Do me a favour, guv. (Affects cockney accent.)

This sort of stuff might save you £50 a year at most. So that’s a thousand years of savings then. Let’s be insanely generous in the estimate. Imagine our conceptual saver is dining on bread and dripping (I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds economical) and saving £500 a year. That still means it would take a hundred years to save £50k

I can think of a few circumstances in which a reasonably well paid person might have £50k (such as having sold their house and keeping hold of the money until they can buy another.) However, people in that situation can’t account for any notable fraction of the population.

So let’s do away with any idea that the £50k limit represents “savings” rather than bank deposits. The newspapers are full of the horrific possibility that people with more savings (maybe about 3% of the bank customer population) might take their money to another EC country, unless the government guarantees it all. In fact, all EC countries seem to be facing this horrific possibility and are randomly guaranteeing or not guaranteeing all deposits, depending on the time of day.

*you betcha*

Hmm. Isn’t that the nature of global capitalism? This free movement of money, yada, yada, that we’ve been getting told (for decades) is the solution to all social evils. The money supply must be freed from constraints. The markets bring prosperity through some miraculous trickle-down effect. Any constraints upon the money markets would destroy free trade, and so on.

So, how confused am I? Don’t tell me that was made-up stuff? Who’d have thought it?

Irony upon irony. The IMF reckons the US economy (and hence, the rest of the world’s economy) is in much worse shape even than we’ve been told.

* big shout out to class 6b*

In its latest twice-yearly Global Financial Stability Review, the Washington-based institution dramatically raised its estimate of losses to the US banking system to around $1.4 trillion (£800bn), 45% up from the $945bn it estimated in April and reaffirmed just two months ago.(from the Guardian)

So the billions that Congress has finally agreed to hand over are not going to cover more than a little section of the losses? (The spare $billions that can be instantly conjured up from the vaults but just weren’t available to prop up failing real industries or to provide free healthcare system?)

As soon as banks are in trouble, nationalising them is acceptable. Once as they start to show any profit again, they’ll be handed right back, of course.

If there aren’t a few people with wealth beyond the proverbial dreams of avarice, the rest of us are in trouble, you see.

Well, no, I don’t really see. However, I can quite see how the losses of the mega rich have trickled down, so that minimum wage-earning taxpayers get a democratic share in those losses.

We were being told, only recently, that taxing the mega rich was a “bad thing” because, then, we wouldn’t benefit from their wealth-creating magic if they weren’t free to accumulate as much wealth as they wanted. How satisfying to find that they now believe in share and share alike.

*winks girlishly*

Vote For Me! Self Delusional Politics

I cant wait until the US elections are over. At the moment, it is not possible to encounter a news bulletin that doesn’t make reference to it. Often including a clip of the brain destroyingly odious Sarah Palin stringing random words together in the manner of someone who has heard them, but has no idea what they mean.

Initially, reading about how Palin had been chosen to appeal to the “female demographic” (what?) I felt offended on behalf of women the world over. It is stunningly offensive to think that a political strategist thinks so little of American women that they would vote for Palin simply because she is a woman. I mean, how shallow must you be to choose your vote based on nothing more than the gender of the politician….

With this in mind, imagine my surprise to read / hear on various news sources (admittedly less and less, recently) that polls showed women were changing their intended votes because of Palin. Wow. Who in the name of Loki would have thought that could happen. Fortunately, this is largely just terminally bad polling techniques and probably bears as much resemblance to reality as me being a multi-millionaire. Phew.

When the initial relief had passed, I realised that there still were actual, living, apparently sane (*), people who thought Palin was a good candidate and would do the part good. Shock time again. How can this be I wondered. She is woefully under-educated and this is only matched by her lack of experience in either national or international politics. Yet some people love her.

How can this be the case, I wondered. Look at this example of a Palin quote about how she isn’t going to answer the questions she is asked during the debate: (source)

I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also,

No really. Not only is it a collection of empty words which seek to divert attention from her ignorance, it is also quite bad use of language. Now you might have thought there would be some element of scripting and rehearsal, so the only conclusion is this is how she wants to be seen speaking. It is clearer in this next quote (same source)

Here, for example, is how she responded to Biden’s comments about how the middle class has been short-changed during the Bush administration, and how McCain will continue Bush’s policies:

Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced [sic] your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let’s look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education, and I’m glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and god bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right? … My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher in the year, and here’s a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate.

Look at the use of language. If you are a native English speaker it is enough to make your brain scream mercy while your eyes surrender the fight. If she was a bit older, I would assume she was senile. The meandering from point to point, to avoid the question, is something Grandpa Simpson would be proud of. It starts off gibberish then ends up with a shout out to some random school children. Truly the mind boggles. She plays on being un-educated to a level that would make George Dubya himself blush. It is beyond painfully bad. Surely no politician could think this is the way to speak in public.

Then, all of a sudden, it hit me like a bolt of lightning from Zeus himself.

This is why people want to vote for her.

Her “down to Earth” use of language constructs, her folk-story terminology, her “cute” (**) mannerisms. These are solely engineered to make people think “Hey, she is just like me.” Amazingly, taken in this light, it is very successful.

Still this confuses me a touch. I am not a good candidate for running the bath, let alone a country. Most people I know are either easily confused by finance, fail to understand international relations, struggle to decide how to reduce crime and so on. These are educated, intelligent people who could run rings around Palin (even if they are only three years old). None of the people I know, myself included, would make a good world leader – even if we all daydream about it occasionally.

Ah. Lightning bolt again. Thank Zeus that the Olympians are watching over us.

Palin appeals to the ignorant people who, through years of false positive reinforcement, actually do think, all the time, that they could really run the country. These people must be so truly deluded that they think it is just a slight accident of fate that their name isn’t on the ticket, and if they could run the country so could Palin – who is so like them.

This is a terrifying example of how a massive dose of self-delusion can have a traumatic effect on the nation.

Not only that, but it is really, really offensive. It offends me that people can be so self obsessed as to even come close to thinking this. Yes, everyone can have ideas on how the country can be run, and sometimes we may think we know better than the politicians. Yes, we can all shout at the TV how we could do the job a millions times better but the truth is very different.

In the modern world (and possibly always) there are very few, if any, jobs that are so generalised anyone can do them without training. My job is very specialised and I doubt someone could walk in of the street without any prior knowledge or training and even come close to doing it. Heather’s job is the same. Pretty much every job I can think of is done by people who have been taught how to do it, and it is done better by people who have experience. Even jobs considered to be of low importance to society require training.

Why on Earth are people so arrogant that they think a job as important as Vice-President (to a potentially frail President) can be done by someone “just like us.” Surely if America is a great nation, it needs great leaders – not empty phrases jumbled together in a pathetic appeal to the lowest common denominator?

(Sorry for the rants. I will attempt to resume normal service as soon as possible)

* By this, I mean they were not currently locked up in a mental health facility… Their lack of sanity is evident by their voting choice.

** By cute, of course, I mean vomit inducing.

Palin – Joke or legitimate candidate?

Previously on the WhyDontYou Blog (cue “24″ theme tune), I made a tongue in cheek reference to Palin being a Republican party “joke candidate”. At the time, I didn’t really think it was true, I was just mocking her apparent difficulty at doing anything you would expect a potential vice-President to do.

However, reading through the Times Online today, I have to re-assess my opinion. Do people actually intend to vote for this person? Seriously, now? The joke has gone on for long enough. Please come clean.

With monumental understatement, the Times Online headlines “Sarah Palin struggles in unwelcome spotlight on eve of TV showdown.” This begins as if it is an everyday type news item with this almost bombshell:

John McCain’s campaign is putting pressure on the organisers of the vice-presidential debate tomorrow night to go easy on Sarah Palin amid growing alarm that faltering performances in recent days have made her an object of public ridicule.

Ok, on its own its quite funny. The Republican campaign managers are worried Palin is an embarrassment. Can you blame them? Amazingly, it gets worse:

Nancy Pfotenhauer, a senior campaign strategist for Mr McCain, has asked for fewer questions than might be expected on foreign policy in the debate. Pointing out that Mr Biden – chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations – would have an advantage on such issues, she said that the clash should at least be evenly balanced with domestic concerns. “The moderators will have some questions to answer themselves if they do go so heavy [on] foreign policy.”

Take a minute to read that. The Republican candidate for Vice-President, someone who would be expected to lead America in the event the President couldn’t, needed a campaign strategist to beg for special treatment in a debate.

Seriously? Is this really true? By Thor it is shocking.

Equally strange, the campaign strategist fully admits the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate has an advantage with regards to foreign policy. They fully admit the Democrat knows more about foreign policy. How in Asgard’s name can Palin be a serious candidate? I really love the (not-so-)veiled threat at the end.

Surely the idea of a Vice-President who has no idea about foreign policy, even if they are somewhat up to speed on domestic issues, is madness? No matter how isolationist you want to be, you still need to have a foreign policy!

Ironically, she isn’t that hot on domestic issues either:

CBS is said to be planning to broadcast further segments of the interview in which she was apparently unable to name any Supreme Court judgments other than the Roe vs Wade ruling on abortion. An aide said that there was no fumbling on this question, merely silence.

Stop it. You’re killing me. This so has to be a joke.

Its interesting that the only judgement she knows about it is about abortion. Does this show she has spent her entire political career campaigning on a certain issue? Has she used her “faith” to get where she is? I would call her a one-trick pony, but I doubt she can manage that one trick.

Even the attempts to defend her are funny:

Mitt Romney, who narrowly missed becoming the vice-presidential nominee, is among those who think Mrs Palin has been overly schooled – losing spontaneity and confidence as a result. “I think they’d be a lot wiser to let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin,” he said. Advisers said that many people would be appalled at the sneering towards her, and opponents patronised Mrs Palin at their peril. “She continues to be a huge asset who speaks directly to the middle American voter that the media so often ignore,” one source said.

I think being overly-schooled is the least of Sarah Palin’s problems. How, by Odin’s beard a potential Vice-President could be less educated is beyond me.

This leads me to a question for “middle America”: Are you really so stupid that this woman appeals to you? Do you base your votes, not on policies or ability, but by someone’s ability to “speak directly to you“? Aren’t you ashamed that the Republicans think you are this stupid that Palin speaks directly to you? (If you aren’t, you should be…)

There is an excellent quote from Palin towards the end of the article:

[Referring to the debate with Biden] She emphasised how long he [Biden] had been a Washington insider, saying: “I’ve been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, second grade.”

This is an attempt at an insult, when McCain is her running mate….

Well, it seems obvious to me now that McCain / Palin are a stand up comedy act that has been a bit too subtle for people to realise. The Republicans have realised they have zero chance of winning the election so have presented two fall-guy candidates, who will take the heat of their next candidate (and absolve them from having to pick either a woman or an old age pensioner next time). Sadly, though, this all says Palin was the best female they could find. Shame on you. If I was a woman, I’d be insulted that they thought she would appeal to my “demographic.”

No post can reference Times Online without looking at the comments. This is already long, so I will keep it short.

“Payne” from Honolulu seems to have trouble getting their words out:

Commentator’s especially not so appealing women with a chip on their shoulders are so jealous of Sarah Palin they are ready to stab her in the eye every chance they get.. Tne news matron Couric was oosing with jealousy. Hopefully, the Moose hunting gun is loaded and ready for Washington.

I really have no idea what this is supposed to say, but I am sure the last sentence could be construed as a criminal threat…

“Scot Benowitz” from Rye, New York has this to say:

In Nov. 1988 we elected Bush/ Quayle here-
Anybody remember such brilliant Quayle statements as “It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”
Republican voters don’t look for knowledge of the world or eloquence in a VP candidate

Sadly, very true. It seems the Republicans look for retardation, ignorance and stupidity in a VP candidate. They dont aim much higher for the Presidential candidate either.

Come the elections, we will see the truth of the statement that in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve. Truly, if a majority of Americans are willing to vote for McCain/Palin, you deserve them.

Regime change

The world is pretty unanimous about the need for regime change in a rogue state, long known to carry out torture of detainees and to have WMD that can be despatched at a mere 3 minutes notice.

Democrat Mr Obama was favoured by a four-to-one margin across the 22,500 people polled in 22 countries (from the BBC)

However, another poll, taken from within the rogue state itself, suggests that many women have been subject to the traditional tribal brainectomy, according to the Independent.

Women voters flock to McCain despite new Palin disclosures
By David Usborne in New York
John McCain has benefited in the polls since announcing his running mate was Sarah Palin, the ‘hockey mom’ Alaskan Governor
Democrats may not want to believe it but there is fresh evidence that the addition of Sarah Palin, the “hockey mom” Governor of Alaska, to John McCain’s ticket is winning him women voters in droves.

Well, I’m not even a Yank and certainly don’t want to believe it. The whole article could have penned by Stereotype Central. Usborne says that

…enormous numbers of women who previously favoured Barack Obama have had their heads turned since the introduction of Mrs Palin, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll.

Had their heads turned….. (!!!!) So American women apparently thought that nice Mr Obama was so charming but now they’re sticking up for the gals and want to see a hardworking mom win.

(Cue Americanism.) Gimme a break. Why didn’t Hillary Clinton get chosen then, if femaleness is all it takes to engage women voters?

Approximately half of the population is male. Are the guys now supposed to be rooting for Obama solely because he can’t bear his own offspring?

The single, low-income women who turned out for Mrs Clinton – some 18 million – are increasingly balanced by Republican women, ecstatic about Mrs Palin’s deeply conservative religious views.

Excuse me if I misunderstand US politics even more than usual, but doesn’t “Republican women” mean “women who identify with the Republican party?” Wouldn’t that make them McCain voters anyway, even if he had indeed picked a farmyard animal wearing Max Factor lipstick as a running mate?

As the BBC reported, the rest of the world is unsurprisingly not “ecstatic” about “deeply conservative religious views.”

USA, we respect your exotic tribal culture and your quaint religious beliefs and all that, but please don’t let them spill out on the rest of us.