Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out With the Old


It’s hard to believe that the last time the night sky lit up with personal fireworks that make the neighborhood sound like it is having a fire-fight was way back in July on the 4th. We like fireworks. I do wonder why there are no road-side fireworks vendors, this time of year. Maybe next year the Christmas tree vendors will increase their revenues with exploding devises. I am digressing. It is time to usher in 2009.

The 2008 election seemed to have taken up the entire year. I am hopeful that 2009 goes by more quickly than 2008. I am hoping it will pass with less carping and complaint a lot more compassion and care. Out with the old and in with the new has never made more sense to me.

I like the inescapable symbolism the New Year brings when Martin Luther King Day is immediately followed by Inauguration Day. It is the ultimate posthumous birthday gift a nation could give to one of its patriots. It will be the culmination of Dr. King’s dream come true. I hope that the buzz lasts a long time, at least another 40 years.

I am pleased to report that I have joined Blogcritics Magazine, “a sinister cabal of superior writers” as it calls itself. It is related to Technorati, that little green button on the side bar of this blog. Now, in addition to my bride, I have additional editors to help make my prose deft. Let me invite you to press the red button on the side bar and take a look.

I hope that the backers of Proposition 8 rejoice in the fact that gay bars are on the top ten list of businesses that will not be around in 10 years, according to
MSNBC as reported by the Orlando Sentinel. Neither are record stores, crop dusting, pay phones, and coin-operated arcades albeit for vastly different reasons. The reason given in the report is that “gay men and women have been gaining greater acceptance in society.”

I also hope that the California Supreme Court rules that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, but that is another story you will be able to read in Blogcritics Magazine.

I hope that we were able to find some real Christmas spirit this year as a benefit of what would otherwise be considered tough economic times. Mostly I hope we all will start spending again and kick the crap out of those times. Let us resolve to make prosperity happen and retain our sanity when we succeed.

Finally, let me quote Edward R. Murrow this New Year and wish us all a “good night and good luck.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

Where Is Our Money?

According to the Associated Press (AP), the banks will not say what they are doing with the taxpayer bailout money they have received. Basically, the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is a bank loan on steroids. Banks who received loans in the billions of dollars are saying things like “We've lent some of it. We've not lent some of it,” according to a spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion. “We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to."

Need I ask what is wrong with that picture? A business management consultant by trade, I am used to preparing banking presentations and helping my clients ask for business loans. I can guarantee you that one of the most important questions that banks ask is, “What are you going to do with the money?” I can also guarantee you that answering, “We're choosing not to disclose that," would get me and my client shown the door, but that is what Bank of New York Mellon said and they received about $3 billion.

If you ever wondered why the Federal government is not in the banking business, here is a little insight. Just ask the Treasury department what it is doing to monitor the spending of those TARP billions. It is a fair question, right? Now ask yourself what you would think if you got an answer like this one: "What we've been doing here is moving, I think, with lightning speed to put necessary programs in place, to develop them, implement them, and then we need to monitor them while we're doing this. So we're building this organization as we're going."

You might think that your question had been answered by Sarah Palin.

However, it is much worse than that. For the record, those are the words of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. After all, he was the banker who put the rush job on Congress, which at last look was part of the same Federal Government and is not in the banking business.

For argument’s sake, let’s overlook the “lightening speed” bit and focus on Paulson’s central point. If he had said “We are making it up as we go,” he would be telling the truth. It would also explain why Geo. Bush picked him. We can only hope that before the next $350 billion is released in the next administration, Tim Geithner will have a plan he can show to congress, which must confirm him to replace Paulson.

Tax payers deserve more in the way of policy than “making it up as we go.” Banking’s top executives deserve to be shown the door. As to being paid bonuses on their way out, to quote one of their spokespersons, “We’re declining to.”

Thursday, December 18, 2008

While the Tide Is Out

I do not know about you, but I am fed up with excuses and the fear those excuses are reinforcing. There are two biggies right now in the excuse department: the Recession and the Holidays. They are getting in the way of everything we think and contributing to a bigger lie – which is that no one is buying anything. Codswallop, I say. What if I replaced the word Recession with Low Tide and the word Holidays with New Moon? What big lie could that engender? After all, they are just words.

Granted the moon and the tides are related in that the periodic rise and fall of the sea level has to do with the gravitational pull of the moon. That relationship is not equal to the cause and effect of a holiday and an economic cycle. But making such a relationship is not my purpose. My purpose is to support two three-word ideas: Stop Saying It and Get Over It. Besides, there are a lot of things we can do while the tide is out and we do not need a lot of reflected light to do them. But let’s consider first things first.

Stop Saying It. Quit indulging in the blame game that the economy is somehow gypping everyone. It is not. There is just less money in circulation. It is nothing more than that. The gyp is the pernicious notion that economies are static, like water in a concrete pool. Granted such changes require some getting used to. At this time the paucity of cash in circulation has undermined some of our previously held, perhaps unfounded, political and market ideas. That is not my point. If you believe that something is bad, it probably will be. If you allow yourself to believe that something is good, it definitely can be. When prices drop, we call that a deal. Where is the gyp in opportunity?

Get Over It. All right, already, Merry Christmas, damn it! Besides, you know I mean well. It might be nice to have more cash or perhaps more credit, but other than consumption, what do cash and credit have to do with customs that were conceived and enjoyed in utter poverty? Now is the time to re-evaluate how we celebrate our hallowed days. While we are at it, we might as well start planning for next year in our homes and our businesses.

So what can we do while the tide is out without a lot of reflected light? We could scrape barnacles off the bottom of our boats. We could fix the dock. We could do some crabbing. The operating word here is We. In business, for example, we can readjust our business plans. We can rethink our pricing. We can reconsider our advertising and sales efforts. If people are not buying, it is because we are not making it easy for them to do so. When we do, they will. That is worth celebrating.
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This posting also appears at the Organized Business Blog, which focuses on business management and consulting issues.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Screen Literacy Indeed


I am still waiting for the proverbial “shoe to drop” after reading the article Reader, Beware, by Chris Suellentrop in the Opinionator column of the NY Times. In that piece, the writer takes up an assertion by Christine Rosen in which she argues that reading is different when performed from a print medium than from a digital medium, the difference between a book and a monitor. One of the points missed is the difference between reflected light and emitted light. That difference also changes the way we write and the manner by which we calculate. I'll take up calculation some other time and refrain from using the word "codswallop."

To be a writer one must be a reader. Forty years ago my wife and I wrote notes to one another in high school, preferring the fountain pen and our signature green ink. Today we will send one another an email in the same room, but that is because we can and we think it is funny. We are writers. Nothing replaces penmanship. I digress. My point is that I have to print a page and read it aloud in order to edit it best because I cannot see mistakes from a monitor.

Another argumentative point is the difference between analogue and digital media, a point that either dropped through the cracks or is another shoe awaiting its plummet. It is the same difference as exists between the wooden match and the butane lighter. Had the match been invented later, its unique selling points would have included that the match is a green, single use, disposal, biodegradable flame. So the book, magazine or newspaper requires no power of its own and is portable. If they have a downside it is that they are more easily burned than computer monitors.

Suellentrop seems to buy into writer Christine Rosen’s lament that so-called print literacy is being replaced by “screen literacy.” Her point is that making “reading easier, more convenient, more entertaining . . . is also supposed to encourage us to challenge ourselves and to search for deeper meaning.” Somehow I missed the point about literacy because I do not buy into the screen literacy concept.

I insist that to make reading easier, more convenient and more entertaining, well wrought entertaining prose does the job every time regardless of the media. Whether paperback or laptop, it is the message, not the medium, that is important.

By the way, had the fountain pen been invented after word-processing hardware and software, it would be a hit. Its unique selling points by definition are that a fountain pen is a hand-held, fluid medium, friction driven, analogue scribing devise. Nothing replaces penmanship.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Waiting For It to Hit

I could have listened to my grandfather. He turned down the governorship of West Virginia in the 40s, retiring to Florida and to a second career in banking. He wanted me to go to Florida law school, marry one of his State Senate cronies’ granddaughters and become Governor of the Sunshine State. I went into broadcasting instead. Under the circumstances, I am beginning to think I really missed out on a lot – hookers, clothes and jail. Governors Eliot Spitzer, Sarah Palin and Rod Blagojevich, take a bow.

New York’s crime busting Spitzer at least had more class, if not gravitas, than to get busted in Trenton by undercover police busting “Johns” for soliciting sex from street walkers. It would have made better story. Right-wing radio ate it up anyway. A Democrat and a prostitute make a great daily double. Alaska’s “Bridge-to-Nowhere” Palin should be incarcerated for the attempted murder of a language. That she could not get her stories straight and helped John McCain lose the presidential election did not matter to right-wing radio. Being a Republican and a conservative babe made for another daily double.

However, Illinois’ crusading reformer Blagojevich (Bluh-GOY-uh-vich) succeeded Republican Governor George Ryan, who was sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison for racketeering and fraud. Few people outside of the Prairie State (also known as the Sucker State) care. The Democrat governor having been arrested on federal corruption charges for attempting to sell the president-elect’s senate seat for which he can go to jail gives the right-wing a trifecta. Rush must be in heaven. What could be better than graft, corruption and Obama-by-implication?

The Washington Post’s George Will cannot quit chewing on the Fairness Doctrine rag that right-wing radio named the “Hush Rush Bill.” Now that Blagojevich has hit the news, Will and the rest of conservative center-right broadcast and print punditry have a new rag to chew. Wait until the inauguration is over.

It is doubtful that main stream media will go easy on this story, especially since its subject seems oblivious to the size of the dung heap he has built for himself. What is significant to the Premise Loft is how the conservatives respond to the case. Kristol, Will, Krauthammer, Gerson and even Brooks are doubtless word processing as I post. Doubtless they are looking up “Sucker State.” We will get to see how they prepare for the moments when the ubiquitous It hits the Obama administration. And It will.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weep No More

I’ve loved cars since my grandmother traded in her 1949 Buick Roadmaster for the ‘54 model. I wept. The magazines Hot Rod, Car and Driver, Car Craft, and Motor Trend consumed much of my teenager spending money and reading time. They reported that California emission controls of the late 60’s threatened the “heavy Chevy’s.” I wept. In 1978 GM quit using the venerable Fischer C-body for its big cars -- Cadillac, Buick, Olds and Pontiac. I wept. I confess my envy of people who own more than one Corvette.

I came to forgive the Big Three for the junk they built in the 80s – duds like the Chevy Citation, Ford’s tin can of a Mustang and Chrysler’s Dodge Aspin. The down sized luxury cars made anyone of sense weep. I ignored the fact that automobile companies disappear. AMC, which had given us the AMX and Javelin, cranked out the Pacer and the Gremlin. No tear came to eye as AMC was swallowed by the python Chrysler. It deserved to be consumed.

Men like Harley Earl, George Romney and Lee Iacocca are legends who will be studied for ever, from business to design schools, for their contributions to the American automobile industry. Earl gave us the ‘Vette. Romney rescued American Motors and made it thrive. Iacocca gave us the Mustang and went on to persuade congress to bail out Chrysler almost single-handedly.

The United States was not founded upon a marketing plan of “let’s get bigger.” Neither was Chrysler, Ford, or General Motors. Unions came along later. However, the oxymoron “poor CEOs” applies to those (formerly) corporate aircraft fitted heads-of-state, which would be Michigan, who appeared before congress this week and increased their bail-out bid from $25 billion to $34 billion dollars. Well, at least they had a plan.

Codswallop. A plan is not an objective. Their plan is to remain afloat. Their plan must say what they think is politically correct. In Oz one does not look behind the curtain. So, their plan is to pretend that US citizens are ready to turn against fifty years of advertising and a post WWII love of horsepower. If they had a plan it would be to show us a 300 HP electric Corvette.

The proverbial Ace they have up their sleeve is that the Big 3 are too Big for the country and for the congress to allow to go broke. Therein lays the Trump. They are too big to allow failure. Congress knows how to committee, not how to captain. No “green” Vette? -- I weep.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Conjecture No More


Today, the name of cabinet designates swirling around in the media ceased to be conjecture. They are no more. They are as leaked. Curious, isn’t it, how names get strategically leaked by “a person close to” the Obama transition team who “spoke on the condition of anonymity” presumably because they were “not authorized” to do any speaking? If it was my team, I would want to know who that person is and stuff a sock in them. Perhaps the real question is who authorizes the unauthorized leak agent? But I digress.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is hardly a “holdover,” as the Washington Post editorialized today. Nor is the significance of the Obama decision to retain him, as the NY Times reported last week, as much “a show of bipartisan continuity in a time of war that will be the first time a Pentagon chief has been carried over from a president of a different party” as it is good international politics. Besides, being the Secretary of Defense is not a show.

Donald Rumsfeld was a show. He liked having his picture taken. He liked being on television. He liked being the 400 pound gorilla in the Pentagon. He did not mind being a criminal. Unfortunately, he enjoyed his ego rather much and was more or less put out to pasture by his crony the vice president, the 500 pound gorilla at the White House.

Mr. Gates, on the other hand, does not like having his picture taken. He is a career bureaucrat who serves at the will of the president, regardless of political party. In a way he reminds me of the late Caspar Weinberger, Reagan’s SecDef. Prior to Defense he chaired the Federal Trade Commission in the Nixon Administration and later ran the Office of Management and Budget. However, it is doubtful that Gates will need a presidential pardon, as Rumsfeld and Cheney may.

The president-elect’s choice of Senator Hillary Clinton to become Secretary of State is a bit more problematic. Her job will be to represent the president to the world as opposed to representing herself, which lost her the Democratic presidential nomination. It is that serving at will of the president that is important. It will remain to be seen whether Mrs. Clinton gets that part. It will also be interesting to see whether New York's Governor Patterson offers to appoint the former-president Clinton to replace her in the senate.

If there is any conjecture other than that, it will be about the senate’s questioning of Timothy Geithner in his confirmation hearing to become Secretary of the Treasury. His tenure at the New York Fed may be an asset, if he learned anything as the Wall Street came tumbling down. He too will serve at the will of the president. I suspect he gets that, even if it is conjecture on my part.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Fair in Fairness


“Dear Mr. Liberal,” wrote an opinion writer in Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel, “Why do liberals claim they're for free speech but want to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, which could stifle conservative talk radio?” That is the latest drum beat of the self proclaimed center-right. I found the question irresistible. “Mr. Liberal replies,” I responded. “Liberals do not. We [liberals] have better things to do than to try to hush Rush Limbaugh or stifle Sean Hannity, like listening to NPR.” I thought I was being cute, as I bated the commentator.

But, nooooo.

A young Republican shot back, “Yes, but ‘you’ liberals do not write the rules, vote on them, pass them into law...Nancy Pelosi liberals do.” She continued that it “is not about Hannity and Rush, both of whom I loathe. It is about slowly choking off the First Amendment. It is sickening how vocal liberals are with their incredible amount of misinformation.”


Let me share another point of view, that of Michael Reagan in his blog, Michigan Redneck II. “P.S. My dad, President Reagan, killed the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ As a result, this rule change allowed Rush, Hannity, and me to have radio talk shows — that’s why the new proposal to bring it back is being called the ‘Hush Rush’ bill. Now the liberals are dying to shut us up.” He is seeking contributions, too.

“The Fairness Doctrine is the last of my concerns for broadcast news. I would settle for some proper grammar and sentence construction here and there,” one of my former radio colleagues, Gary Nelson of WFOR TV4 Miami wrote. “About the vitriol on talk radio,” Gary continued, “in doing a piece the day after the election on Bush losing the Hispanic vote, I interviewed a Colombian-American voter who said he had been a Republican all his life and had never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate. He said the ‘mean-spirited’ attacks on Obama changed him. ‘Rush Limbaugh cost John McCain my vote,’ he said.”

“That's why we now have right wing and left wing media. Some are even in the middle,” a voter on my “Fair in Fairness Poll” wrote. “Let people decide who to listen to. It should not be confused, but often is, with the Equal Time rule. The Fairness Doctrine deals with matters of public importance; the Equal Time rule only deals with political candidates.”

Thank goodness for the Internet and 1st Amendment, without which I would have no one to bate (aa-aa watch it!) nor the freedom to do it.


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To view comments on the Fairness Poll, go to
http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=4251

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pardons Anyone?


I have previously written that both “W and Cheney deserve a place in history – in a penitentiary.” I have urged the president-elect to offer no blanket pardons to Misters Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or Rove just in case they are prosecuted for “high crimes and misdemeanors” (Constitution, Art. II Sec. 4). According to Jon Roland of the Constitution Society, “High . . . does not mean ‘more serious’. It refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons,” more specifically public officials. Presidential accountability has been obscured by President Ford's pardoning of President Nixon.

Should Bush, Cheney et al. be prosecuted for "High crimes and misdemeanors"? I posed that question at YouPolls.com and got 33 responses. Of those responding, 61% voted yes. 39% voted no. Take into account the following disclaimer from the site. “Polls listed on YouPolls.com are not scientific surveys. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate and can be skewed due to multiple votes, percentage rounding, and biased participants.”
Here is a sample of the opinions the poll generated.

“Definitely; Especially Mr. Cheney and don't forget about finding a way to prosecute Donald Rumsfeld.”

“They should be tried for war crimes,” wrote another voter. “We launched a pre-emptive war on Iraq.” Additionally “…the U. S. was a major party to the UN charter, drafted in 1945, which stated that the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state was illegal.”

Here is quite a different point of view. “History is written by the winner, and in this case we're leaving Iraq as winners. By prosecuting individuals connected to this war we open a can of worms. As always history has and will always be kind to winners.”

Probably the most succinct response was this. “Yes, they should. No, they will not. That's life.”

I tend to concur with that one only because to put that band of “public officials” on trial would certainly be public – a show trial, in a manner of speaking. The enemies of this nation would not understand it and only China would think such a prosecution reasonable if not worthwhile. So perhaps I asked the wrong question.

At minimum the Bush/Cheney gang should retire, collect no pensions, and be prevented from making huge sums of money as private citizens after January 20th. They are criminals. Ted Steven has nothing on them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Fairness


The Fairness Doctrine was a 1949 FCC regulation, not a law. When some in congress tried to give it a new name and make it a law, Reagan vetoed it in 1987. It came up again in 1993 and congress did not endorse it. Despite Nancy Pelosi’s pandering to the Christian Science Monitor on the topic, or George Will's sweeping generality in the Post that "liberals have been unable to dent conservatives' dominance" of talk radio, the doctrine is rather problematic under the Constitution's First Amendment. What I failed to point out is that Rush Limbaugh understands self-promotion. The election loss by his candidate and the Alaskan rube Rush idolizes demonstrates that conservative talk radio has little influence.

Augie Grant, PhD, a former radio colleague of mine, wrote of my posting “individuals on talk radio (on all sides of the political spectrum) are guilty of gross misrepresentation. Some is simple hyperbole, but there are enough outright falsehoods that intelligent people can't help but wonder whether there is a better option. Personally, I would like to hear that owners and hosts are willing to consider ‘truth’ as a value, but I'm not holding my breath. Perhaps the audience will wise up and leave the blowhards behind, but conflict is much more entertaining than rational discussion.”

“There is little question that the Fairness Doctrine stifled speech,” Augie also wrote. “In practice, it led to the idea that an issue has only two sides, an argument that is as naive as it is limiting. In a lecture on our campus (University of South Carilina) last week, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard was asked about the Fairness Doctrine and shot back that liberals had their own voice on talk radio: NPR.”

To which another former radio colleague, John Posey, wrote that “the reason to go to NPR as an alternative - TRUTH.... regardless of your political persuasion. I never feel as though I have to shower after listening to NPR.” John also wrote “I have issues with the Fairness Doctrine and do not want to stifle anyone's speech. I've listened to left and right talk and don't care for either for the very reasons Augie (above) . . . presented. I do believe that Limbaugh and Hannity have a certain self-serving, self-promoting, invective-spewing quality and have taken ‘pathological’ to new levels. That being said, the problem is not the shrieking of Rush and Hannity per se, it's the vast number of ‘followers’ who believe every word they say.”

That hardly seems fair.

Friday, November 14, 2008

This That and the Other Thing


Back in September in my posting titled Radio or Not, I took issue with the Post’s George Will over his assertion that a Democratic Presidency would mean the return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. I wrote that such a notion is bunk since conservative talk radio is cheap to produce. Will’s colleague Michael Gerson has brought it up again. They probably share a new corner of the Post’s commissary and both wrote that in 1987 President Reagan “eliminated” (Will) or “overturned” (Gerson) the 1949 FCC regulation.

No the president did not. The FCC overturned the regulation. By the way, as an independent regulatory agency, the FCC has the power to reimpose the fairness doctrine at anytime without action by either the executive or legislative branches. What Reagan did was veto a congressional attempt to make the regulation a law. The Supreme Court set the stage for the FCC dumping the regulation in 1984 (FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364). The regulation has come up since then, but congress would not support it and nor did the Clinton administration.

The broadcast media of 1949 is a chapter of history, as will be the Internet. So who keeps coming up with the fairness doctrine (beware, brother, beware) with respect to the newly elected administration, other than Will and Gerson? I am going to guess they got it off of talk radio. Besides, other than the Palin worshipping Rush Limbaugh, who cares? That is unless
Gerson and Will have information that the Obama administration plans to “pack” the FCC.

Anyway, there you have the “This” part. Now, here is the “That.” I have previously written that both “W and Cheney deserve a place in history – in a penitentiary.” I call on all US citizens to urge the president-elect to offer no blanket pardons to Misters Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or Rove. I urge their prosecution for “high crimes and misdemeanors” (Constitution, Art. II Sec. 4).


Here is another by the way. “High,” according to Jon Roland of the Constitution Society, “does not mean ‘more serious’. It refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons,” more specifically public officials. I have posted a poll on that topic at
http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=4143 You can vote and see the results for the next few weeks. I will be writing about what we find later.

And now, here is “the Other Thing,” also known as the Alaska Senatorial race. As of this posting, with 60% of the vote counted, Democratic challenger Mark Begich leads the incumbent Republican convicted felon Ted Stevens by 1022 votes. To check them, go to
http://www.elections.alaska.gov/08general/data/results.htm .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stuck in Stupid


The Republican Party is not dead. It might be a tad stinky, but it is not dead. Right now it is just stuck in stupid. There are still plenty of Republican Senators and Representatives to raise a stink. Moreover, there is a veritable plethora of Republican Governors, including the Alaskan. After W and Cheney leave office, the GOP will be able to take a break and retool if they will unstick themselves.

Meanwhile, the conservative punditocracy has already begun its 2012 elephant race that may or may not include Palin, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, or even Newt Gingrich, as the Posts venerable Robert Novak has suggested. But, there are two questions such speculation raises – who are the Republicans and who, in their right mind, would want to lead them? Oh, yah, that would be you know. So let’s take a look at Alaska.

As of this posting there are still 90,000 absentee/early ballots being counted in Alaska to determine whether Ted Stevens, a convicted felon, will be elected to represent the Frontier State. Regardless, he plans to return to the senate next week, where Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina has “ filed official notice that he will call for a vote to have Stevens ejected from the Republican Conference,” according to Mike Ross, of Anchorage television station KTUU.

Governor Palin remains at large, running off at the mouth like the comic king of double talk Irwin Corey after she and the first dude treated “the vice presidential run as a second honeymoon,” as mused Maureen Dowd in her NY Times column. Ms. Palin will join the Republican Governors Association meeting later in Miami. One wonders if the spotlight will tire of her. I am sure the RGA does too since they will be in it.

As to the condition of being stuck in stupid, as I have written, the Republicans may be a lot of things but being stupid is not one of them. After all, they allowed Palin to be on their ticket and successfully lost the Presidential election. Showtime Sarah aside, the Republican Governors are a smart bunch and I expect they will be the most influential in the party’s rehabilitation.

As a business management consultant, I would describe a lot of what I see in business families as people stuck in stupid. They are not stupid; they're just stuck in it. The primary reason they are stuck is their lack of flexibility, which inhibits change. The GOP has a lot of work to do in order to unstick itself. Alaska’s Governor Palin and Senator Stevens will not help them in their efforts.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Enough Already


There are a couple of things being popularized about which I must say, “Enough is enough, already.” First is the “center-right nation” assertion that the conservative pundits proclaim the United States of America is, although they mostly condense the country to “America.” Come to think of it, that’s about as ignorant as Sarah Palin’s confusion that Africa is a country. But, I’ll get to that. The second “enough is enough” is the commentary about the color of the president-elects skin by United States citizens in the press.

My stove pipe black Lincoln top hat is tipped to my hero Charles Krauthammer who is good at making word coins. The first time I read the word coin “center-right” was in his second endorsement of John McCain in the Post (10/31) “McCain is the quintessential center-right candidate. Yet the quintessential center-right country is poised to reject him.” May I suggest that as good as the concept is, the country (not the continent) proved to be “center-left” and just in time.


Let me tell you anecdote to explain why “enough is enough” on the president-elects’ “suntanned” ethnicity, as Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi recently quipped.

“Mac, put on your class A’s and get over to the post chapel to raise the PAO flag,” barked my boss at the Army Public Affairs Office. The occasion was the first celebration of the newly minted “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” at the Hunter Army Airfield, in Savannah, GA. Standing beside me, the other white person in the standing room only throng, my Commanding General, John Galvin, asked me what I thought about the holiday.

“Sir,” I said, “it’s a great day for the country for two reasons. First, it celebrates the life of a great American citizen and patriot. Second, it pisses off the bigots.” The General laughed in agreement. I feel the same about the election results. It is just that I am becoming weary of the abundance of commentary on the issue of ethnicity which we should now overcome.

The “quintessential center-right country” was the last safe haven for bigotry of any ethnicity, as opposed to color. Our presidential election overwhelmingly repudiated that bigotry and, in so doing, moved the country quintessentially center-left. I am proud to be a part of that move. Call me "Center Lefty."



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hail to the New Chief


In the Roosevelt Room of the White House, the horseback heroic Teddy Roosevelt portrait has been hanging over the fireplace since January 2001. As Michael Gerson wrote in his 11/05 Washington Post column, in January 2009, the portrait of “Franklin Roosevelt will be moved back to that place of honor.” The good news for WaPo’s Gerson and Krauthammer and NY Times William Kristol is that they no longer have to defend an incompetent Republican administration. Instead they can indulge in sniping at a competent Democratic administration.

Actually, Gerson’s sniping has already begun. “And as the result of a financial panic that unfairly undermined all Republicans, Obama has stumbled into the most dangerous kind of victory,” he wrote. “Unfairly” and “stumbled” indeed. What part of the United States becoming “the first majority-white democracy on this planet to anoint a black person as a national leader,” as noted by the NYU educator Jonathan Zimmerman did Michael miss? In his op-ed piece A Victory for America, and the World, Zimmerman wrote, “Consider that the United States did not abolish slavery until 1865. The British Empire beat us by a half-century, outlawing the slave trade in 1807 and slavery itself in 1834.”

The conservative pundits have their work cut out for them. It falls on them to articulate what the Republican Party is all about and that will take some time. The country repudiated it and its base of bigotry at the polls. That should be good news. As Republican Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona put it, “The party is finally untethered from the ill-fitting and unworkable big-government conservatism that defined the Bush Administration.”

Let me offer a clue to the Republicans as they figure out who they are. I would like to think that the election’s repudiation precludes any candidacy for Sarah Palin, who actually thinks she has a roll in the GOP on the national stage. Ignorance is not bliss, it is dangerous. One would think that an endorsement by Alaska’s felonious Senator Ted Stevens would be sufficient to disqualify her from any part of a GOP rehabilitation. Maybe it works in Alaska, but Palin’s stuff does not play in the lower 48 except to bigots.

Let me call on the Obama-Biden administration not to pardon Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney for the “deception and criminality,” Mr. Gerson dismisses as “lunatic theories.” Both W and Cheney deserve a place in history – in a penitentiary. Let us all look forward to the changing of the portraits in the Roosevelt Room.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Rubes, Parapets, Lions and Lambs


I was incorrect when I wrote that Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post was “an author of the Bush Doctrine” (Putting Descartes Before Horace). In his September 13 column he wrote “I was the first to use the term.” (June 4, 2001, Weekly Standard) He also wrote “Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is,” after referring to Palin as “the moose-hunting rube.” It’s good to be quoted, even if the term “Bush Doctrine” is incorrect (I looked up doctrine). Krauthammer is correct about Palin (I looked up rube).

In addition to being a Pulitzer Prize winner and an MD, he provides commentary for Fox News and is one of the most articulate conservative writers of our time. I like to read Krauthammer’s Post column because I can philosophically disagree with his well wrought prose and agree with his observations at the same time. For example, “The vice president's only constitutional duty of any significance is to become president at a moment's notice. Palin is not ready.” (September 5)

I agree. However, if he is correct, then how can he endorse John McCain’s presidential bid, which he does not once but twice? In the first endorsement (October 24) the good doctor wrote “. . . I'll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory.” It’s a nice turn of phrase. The contradiction is that his endorsement of McCain also endorses the most inexperienced vice presidential nominee in memory.

“Today's economic crisis,” he wrote, “like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet?” I can just about guarantee you the answer is not the “moose hunting rube.”


By the way his rhetorical answer to the parapet question is “I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.” I must agree. There is little worse in this world than barbarian lions and lambs.

I can also agree that “the current economic crisis demands extraordinary measures.” In Krauthammer’s October 31 second McCain endorsement, he continued “an Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Barney Frank administration will find irresistible the temptation to use the tools inherited -- $700 billion of largely uncontrolled spending -- as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to radically remake the American economy and social compact.”


Other than the omission of Joe Biden’s name, I could not agree more. I certainly hope Krauthammer is indeed correct. That is exactly what the nation needs. So does the Republican party.



Saturday, November 1, 2008

October Surprise Ball Booted


The October surprise ball was booted, unless a report that a distant Kenyan relative of Senator Obama is living in Boston “illegally” is the perfect mole hill upon which a political mountain may be built. A Senator McCain spokesman, Tucker Bounds, said his campaign had no comment. That is a shame since it is the perfect fodder upon which the Alaskan running mate likes to graze, but I digress. The real problem with the story is that it has limited television appeal, compared with the presidential debates which were all about television appeal.

The RNC has shown little interest in vetting anyone or anything. However, it sure thinks it knows the importance of television appeal. That is why the RNC booted the “hockey mom” ball with its concern about the Palin makeover. Television appeal is how the RNC booted the “Joe the Plumber” ball when they gave a real person a television name (I’m Joe Plumber, RNC News.) They would have been better off hiring an actor.

Television appeal is how the RNC booted the “Presidential debate” ball. Perhaps it would have better for their standard bearer had the debates been broadcast in black and white – McCain would have come across like Ike and Obama a skinny college kid. Following along that line, it would have better had the debates been broadcast on radio – the skinny kid would have come across like a crooner and Ike would still be Ike.

Twenty years ago ABC News claimed, “More people get their news from ABC than from any other source.” Although a frightening concept at the time, the network can no longer make such a claim. CNN put the debate solidly in the television appeal category, as opposed to a content substance category, with its goofy, color coded crawling graphic. In so doing CNN reduced the candidates to being the red guy and the blue guy with an imaginary green guy in between the two.
Television reduced the debates to an extended, three part infomercial, a ball booted by the vice presidential debate. There is more that television does than suck the substance out of things, it allows for the substance to reappear on the web, such as
http://bravenewfilms.org/blog/39179-mccain-s-youtube-problem-just-became-a-nightmare . It also pays Tina Fey and Will Ferrell.

# # #
Thanks to Dick Cavett in his NY Times column Talk Show for the link referenced above.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things That Could Happen

The NY Times Blog, Opinionator, ponders the use of the word “yet” in the most recent John McCain campaign ads. Here is the voice over line in question. “The fact is Barack Obama’s not ready … yet.” Columnist Tobin Harshaw goes on to quotes the New Republic’s Jason Zengerle. “Maybe McCain’s final Hail Mary is to pledge to serve one term … and then to pledge his support to Obama in 2012.”

That is not likely, but McCain could pledge to serve one term to be elected. It is just that the pledge business has not proven to be his long suit and the electorate knows it. That makes me wonder just what else could the aged former jet-jockey do to create an October surprise and “fool the pundits”?

He could dump the current running mate, for the ‘good of Alaska in its troubled time’, and replace her with Joe Lieberman so that they could both serve one term. That team would have been plausible had he gone with his esteemed colleague before his convention surprise, when he one-upped the Times’ Kristol and Post’s Gerson in their adoration of the divine Sarah. Of course such a move would allow her to replace Ted Stevens with herself, but that’s a separate matter.

McCain could himself withdraw and recommend Mitt Romney to replace him as the party’s standard bearer. There is nothing as sweet as the tinkling of a bell, unless it is made of lead (atomic number: 82). However, Romney would never agree to wearing sack cloth and ashes. Since McCain is in her way anyway, Palin would not blink at trying to finish the run by herself.

Actually, that’s not accurate. She would still have Kristol and Gerson.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crooks Win and Go to Prison

I moved from Tampa Bay to Portland Oregon as the presidential election had not been decided in 2000. By the narrowest of margins, the less qualified major candidate got over the most qualified candidate. My interest at the time was that the outcome proved Florida’s crookedness, especially since the least qualified candidate’s brother governed the Sunshine State. Crooks win. Crooks also go to prison.

On this blog in Ticket to Nowhere, I wrote that the Alaska Governor, who claims to have “stood up to her Republican Party “ was the only candidate who wasn’t a member of the ‘Corrupt Old Bastard’ network in Juneau when Federal corruption investigations began or [was] just witless enough to let the Ted Stevens Party have her installed. Little of anything governmental in Alaska has ever been done without that Grand Old Patriarch’s approval.”

Live with me for quoting myself and make a note. Upon Senator Stevens’s conviction, the Washington Post says, “[I]t was difficult not to feel some sadness . . . when the 84-year-old Republican was convicted of all seven counts of accepting more than $250,000 in gifts.” The arithmetic suggests that the $150,000 in wardrobe “gifts” that Alaska’s Governor received, which was a mere $100,000 short of Stevens’ gifts, is legal while his “gifts” are not. It shocks me to think of what she can do with this country.

So will the octogenarian Senator be returned to the Senate a convicted felon? His gubernatorial selection, now running to become vice president of the United States, says he should “do the right thing.” Even though main stream media is now quoting a written statement that the RNC folks cleaned up, here is the unedited version.

"Ted Stevens, you know, a sad day for Alaska yesterday when he was found guilty of seven felonies," Palin said. "But — and now he needs to do the right thing, and the right thing is — as he's proclaiming his innocence and proclaiming, too, that he will go through the appellate process, OK, then he needs to step aside and allow our state to elect someone who will be supportive of those ideals of America: the free enterprise, the missions that we're on, to win the war, those things that have got to take place in order to progress this country. Ted Stevens has got to play a very statesmanlike role in this now."

She has yet to be investigated. But when she speaks, as the Post opines, I “feel some sadness” too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are We There Yet, 1964


Writing earlier this week in the Washington Post, Richard Cohen concluded his column that this is “the second time that a senator from Arizona has led the GOP into the political wilderness.” While his implications that the 1964 campaign of Barry Goldwater is being revisited by the GOP in its ugliness, there are some striking differences.


The most striking is the choice of vice presidential candidates. For Goldwater it was the formidable William Miller, an attorney and 14 year congressional legislator who went from being an assistant prosecutor in the 1945 Nuremburg Trials to becoming the Chairman of Republican National Committee. Goldwater would have found Mr. McCain’s choice unconscionable, especially the wardrobe and expensive makeup to hide the lack of any substance.

Goldwater believed that the Johnson administration had usurped constitutional role of Congress. Whether or not the Old Maverick believes the same thing, McCain has voted with the Bush administration to get away it. But then again, Old Goldie thought he was going to run against Jack Kennedy and later said he had no chance of defeating LBJ, "because the country was not ready for three presidents in two and a half years."

Helping to assure his defeat, Goldwater turned the GOP into a conservative institution that would beget the elections of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. To assure his defeat, McCain has “driven out ethnic and racial minorities” as well as “a vast bloc of voters who, quite bluntly, want nothing to do with Sarah Palin.” As Cohen says, “For moderates everywhere, she remains the single best reason to vote against McCain.”

Monday, October 20, 2008

Putting Descartes Before Horace

It serves a poor purpose to only read the writing of people with whom one agrees. It surprises me when I agree with such media elites (not being one of them myself, yet) as William Kristol in the NY Times or Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post. They tend to stick up for the tired conservative rhetoric of the GOP especially since they have written a lot of it – Krauthammer as an author of the Bush Doctrine, for instance.

Kristol, for his part in his October 20 NY Times column, says “Conservatives’ hearts have always beaten a little faster when they read Horace’s famous line: “Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.” “I hate the ignorant crowd and I keep them at a distance.” I agree with him about the Conservatives.


He concludes “At least McCain and Palin have had the good sense to embrace” Joe the Plumber. “I join them in taking my stand with” him — “in defiance of Horace the Poet.” Never mind the fact the Joe has at least given a press conference, unlike some people in the media elite’s sights.

The problem is that Kristol and Krauthammer are the last gasps of a losing cause. That cause is being shown the door not so much for its failed policies, but for deception in the purpose of amassing power. May Liberal hearts beat when I quote Rene Descartes. “It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.”


Friday, October 17, 2008

The Good Americans Indeed

Thursday night during a fundraiser in Greensboro, NC, Sarah Palin said, “Every area, every area across this great country where we’re stopping and where also the other ticket is stopping and getting to speak at these rallies and speak with the good Americans, it’s all pro-America.” Just some more hick gibberish from an anti-intellectual parrot or is there a meandering meaning buried in the Sarah speak?

The answer is $1600 per person to listen to it, and just as we thought All Pro-America was the name of a sports store. As to the “good Americans,” they would be the ones who would spend that kind of money to listen to a Nit-Wit who can be heard for free.

When Mark Liebovich of the NY Times writes “the Tar Heel State’s “Pro-America” bent”, he is lost in irony because North Carolina seceded from the Union to become a Confederate State. And, oh by the way, the original term “tar heel” was like saying “white trash.” I point that out since I was born in Charlotte and always wondered.

If there is a theme, other than secession, it is only that with each day Ms. Palin reinforces the notion that her selection to become vice president is to prevent John McCain from becoming POTUS.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anything Can Happen

We of the baby boom recall that Wednesday was “Anything Can Happen Day.” Guess what, anything can happen quarter is where we are. Who could have imagined that the GOP would put a couple of nit-wits on its Magic Carpet ticket and honestly expect to win the Executive Mansion? Nit-wit #1 has been unsuccessfully running for president for nearly ten years while Nit-Wit #2 had been supporting the Alaska Independence Party which advocated her state seceding from the Union. The talk radio right bellows they are going to win the election, pay no attention the lying and the racism involved in so doing.

We should remember that the election is about the Electoral College and that the popular vote means very little, except to pollsters. We should remember that the inauguration is not until January 20, 2009. But, mostly we should remember that there are two yet to be convicted incumbents running the executive branch of government in the meantime. Anything can happen before November the 5th, a Wednesday, and it is frightening.

Eugene Robinson writes in the Washington Post, “After eight years of the Bush administration, the Republican Party -- to put it bluntly -- is a mess and a fraud.” He is correct; but, how about criminal and negligent? Rove and Rumsfeld were allowed to publically escape, since they were unelected public officials. But, Bush and Cheney have earned well deserved prison time, which the Nit-Wits would likely pardon. And, of by the way, anything can happen.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Call Jerry Bruckheimer

There is still time to redeem the GOP in what is left of their limping campaign. The way I see it, there is a choice to be made. Dump that vapid racist Palin from the ticket and bring in Mac’s buddy Joe Lieberman to run for one term, the both of them. Or, call Jerry Bruckheimer to produce a Republican replacement show, titled At All Costs.

The first choice has all kinds of merit. It would show that Mr. McCain is indeed putting the country first, admitting he made a colossal mistake, and acting like the maverick he claims to be. The move would usher in some serious debate, albeit a little late and not of the TV variety; but debate among the electorate. Besides, everyone is used to Mac’s erratic lurches and such a team could be formidable.

The second choice has equal merit. For the good of the country, McCain could withdraw, taking his rube mate with him. It wouldn’t take Mr. Bruckheimer long to create the new GOP show, casting Tim Robbins as the presidential candidate and Susan Sarandon as his running mate – something they already are. Certainly, the attack ads would have more class and the rallies would be more optimistic.

Martin Sheen, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline have each done the office of POTUS a great service. The Robbins-Sarandon ticket kicks the process into a new level. I originally thought of Nick Cage and Lauren Hutton for the leads; but, the pesky economic situation muddies everything. Besides, it’s not like the Republicans are too cash strapped to afford Bruckheimer. Then again, maybe they are.

The only thing I would insist upon with a devamped (ad that to your spell checker) McCain-Lieberman ticket is that they sign an agreement that if elected, they will not pardon President Bush. W needs his place in history -- in a penitentiary.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Ticket to Nowhere

In its editorial on the vice presidential debate, the New York Times concluded that John McCain’s selection of Governor Palin as his vice presidential running mate “was either an act of incredible cynicism or appallingly bad judgment.”

My observation is that people do things that are contradictory on purpose. Consider Jesse Jackson’s remark about Obama, three months ago, when he said he wanted to cut Obama’s nuts off. He later explained "Stop twisting my words, news media. I meant 'cut his nuts off' in the nicest way possible." That really cleared things up. Or was the usually eloquent Mr. Jackson saying “I don’t want to do public speeches anymore.”

Consider the television actor Paul Reubens who Sarasota police arrested at a porno theatre on lewd and lascivious charges. Was that bad judgment or Reubens saying to his agent “I don’t want to be Pee Wee Herman anymore”?

So, the New York Times missed the point. The Palin choice is neither cynical nor bad judgment. The Palin choice is Mr. McCain saying “I like the campaigning and the attention; but, I really do not want to be elected President of the United States.”

Governor Palin’s selection to become Vice-President guarantees a Republican ticket to nowhere.
# # #

For the Jackson Medieval comments, see
http://www.funnyordie.com/jokes/6cfa82c8f7

Monday, October 6, 2008

Experience This

The bandied about issue of candidate experience is bogus. The entire discussion obfuscates the real deal which is competence. The Democratic party has selected two highly competent candidates for the executive branch of our government. The incumbent, dangerously incompetent Republican Party has selected a retiree and a rube.

I mind the fact Ms. Palin cannot speak any American language I would expect to hear from a competent executive. It’s not alright, folksy or cute. It says that her journalism degree is worthless. Are we really to expect that when she becomes President, she will be able to baffle foreign executive leaders with her untranslatable speech?

I mind that her grasp of US history is incredibly weak. During the founding period, the Vice President was the runner up candidate for the Presidency, never mind that fact that the position is constitutionally limited, and not “flexible” as Mr. Cheney would have it.

I mind her stupid assertion that one can see Russia from Alaska – not from Wasilla or Juneau. I mind her Pole dancer hair-do. I mind her baby holding on stage. And I mind that her husband supports Alaskan secession from the Union. Those are just a few trivial things that are disqualifying of the candidate for the office.

As to her running mate, Mr. Steady, he makes me blink.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Radio or Not

“Unless McCain is president, the government will reinstate the equally misnamed ‘fairness doctrine, ’" George Will writes in his Washington Post column, attempting to champion the cause of a divided government. That Ronald Reagan eliminated it in 1987 is true. But, its reinstatement is conjecture. Those goblins will get you.

“In 1980 there were fewer than 100 radio talk shows nationwide. Today there are more than 1,400 stations entirely devoted to talk formats. Liberals, not satisfied with their domination of academia, Hollywood and most of the mainstream media, want to kill talk radio, where liberals have been unable to dent conservatives' dominance.”

Bunk. Conservatives dominate talk radio because it’s cheap. Talk radio doesn’t cost a radio station anything except electricity. Typically the air-time is brokered and the talker sells pays for the time. That explains Rush and Dr. Laura. It’s like religious radio in the late 60s – no pay, no pray. But, I digress.

The observation that an oppositional government, rather than divided, works best has merit. The present national mess demonstrates the point, given 6 out of 8 years of Republican governance – you know, the party of business. Just leave radio out of it.

9.18.08

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Codswallop

Whenever I read or hear the words "liberal political and media elites," I know that only codswallop can follow. Are there no conservative political and media elites? Or is such an expression a metaphorical secret handshake to let the initiated know that a conservative is about to sling other than shot.

Michael Gerson, of the Washington Post Op-Ed department, wrote a column recently entitled Faith-Based Condescension. In that piece he wrote that “liberals have been drawn, helpless and mesmerized -- like beetles to the vivid, blue paradise of the bug zapper -- toward criticizing Sarah Palin's religion.” Never mind that he never quoted a source or attributed anything. It is called “opinion” for that reason.

Since Michael Gerson is at least a “media elite” himself, his comparison of Lincoln to Palin is a mere opening affront if not a “condescension” in and of itself. The fact is, to quote Michael G, that “Democrats and their liberal allies” hardly need bother to “set out a self-destructive mixed message.” That is the purview of Republican sympathizers, such as his honor.

Criticism of another person’s faith is as far from being “liberal.” It is “conservative,” hand shake or no. And the assertion without specifics that “Deriding Palin's religion has been a poor strategy” is Rovian. It is codswallop.

9.12.08

Elite As Derisive

Do you know the names Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Michael Gerson, David Ignatius, Tobin Harshaw, or Gail Collins? If you do you are probably an elitist who reads the New York Times and Washington Post Op-Ed sections. Have you no shame?

When Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s says of Obama “… frankly I don’t like him. I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him,” there is irony afoot: elitist derides elite as elitist.

Let’s eschew obfuscation, I say. When I taught Writing for Mass Media at U South Florida, Tampa, I wrote those two words on the blackboard and told my students that it they would appear on the final exam, the definition of which could mean the difference between D and C grades.

So it has come to pass a new obfuscation to be eschewed is the word elite. By definition elite is “a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group: the power elite of a major political party.” However, conservatives have transformed elite into a word of derision, like “coward” or “sissy.”

“I feel like he is an elitist” indeed. Note she was not quoted as saying the “thinks,” but that she “feels.” Well, I feel sick when a liberal turns conservative out of feeling. Thank you, Tobin Harshaw of the Times for the irony.

9.17.08

Ticket to Nowhere

We are told that Ms. Palin is Alaska’s maverick who stood up to her GOP party regulars to become governor. It could be she was the only candidate who wasn’t a member of the “Corrupt Old Bastard” network in Juneau when Federal corruption investigations began or just witless enough to let the Ted Stevens Party have her installed. Little of anything governmental in Alaska has ever been done without that Grand Old Patriarch’s approval.

Juneau, Alaska’s capital city has a regional, walk on the tarmac airport, complete with stuffed bear in a case. (All public buildings have a stuffed bear in a case.) In the absence of a bridge to anywhere, you can rent a car at the airport; but you can only drive it in and around Juneau. You cannot drive to Anchorage or Sitka or “Squarebanks.” Alaska’s International airport is in Anchorage, the northern most suburb of Seattle. It is named for the senior GOP senator Ted Stevens, who was indicted a month and a half ago.

We are told that the national election is close. It could be that it is not close at all. Without Ms. Palin, it certainly wouldn’t be interesting. If anything, her candidacy gives comics and pundits a lot of political hash so it seems that election might be close. But, it isn’t.

Republicans are a lot of things; but stupid is not one of them. They hear the landslide in the distance. The party has nominated a great American, Senator and patriot in John McCain to honor the man and give him his due. But, they did not nominate him to win. That is why they nominated the least qualified elected official they could in Ms. Palin to guarantee he doesn’t.

9.15.08

Republican Porn

Here is a question for Katie Couric to ask the Alaskan Governor. “Did you know that your campaign is being advertised on pornographic web sites?”

I have become annoyed that cyber ads are becoming more frenetic. I have gotten over cyber porn spam, which still sneaks through the filters of my Excite email page. And it is rare when I cursor over a banner and click it. However, an email leads me to a porn site that displays a surprising banner ad that leads me to another site I have regarded as my duty to ignore.

The company that sells the banner advertising space calls itself Cybercatinc.com (more specifically, clicks.weselltraffic.com). The websites it places advertising banners are so called adult (also known as porn) sites. One called Pussy.org, which has nothing to do with cats, displayed the ad banner that surprised me – McCain-Palin. One has to admit “that’s maverick.”

Right in the middle of movie thumbnails of naked people doing it for the camera, the smiling faces of the Republican ticket and the words “Country First: Reform-Prosperity-Peace” appeared. Cursor over the banner and click, a new screen pops up, just like the thumbnails, only instead of a page of pornography it’s a page of “politography” (a word I invented for the occasion) – JohnMcCain.com.

Finding John McCain and Sarah Palin on a porn site took me back to early adolescence. I was standing at the news stand looking at some early 60’s girly magazine when I recognized the shoes of a man standing beside me – the Episcopalian Priest Assistant Headmaster of my prep school. But, I digress. I wonder if HockeyMom’s soon to be son-in-law has seen his future mother-in-law’s face in cyber porn. But, then that begs several questions about the lad, which is not to the point. Did the RNC purchase the ad?

Since we know that Mr. McCain is admittedly an analogue man who barely knows how to use a computer, I doubt if he knows about it. He just approves the ad, not of its placement. If the objective is to appeal to male voters while they are holding their privates, cyber porn banner ads are a lot cheaper than urinal advertising. That’s fiscally conservative.

9.10.08