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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Letter To The Editor That Will Go Unanswered?

Over at www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com, Ron Crawford's sent along an interesting question to Sandra Duerr, ("My Open Letter to Tribune Executive Editor Sandra Duerr"). Shall we place bets that she'll answer it in her nifty little Let's Ask The Editor column that runs once in a while in the Trib? Bets? Any bets? No?

Mark Your Calendars, So Far

God willing and the creek don't rise, the League of Women Voters will be moderating a LOCSD candidate forum, October 13 from 7 - 9 at the Community Center in Los Osos. Come one, come all, the League does a teriffic job at these things and it's a chance to meet and hear and submit questions for the candidates.

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi strikes again

Peck's bad-boy, political writer Matt Taibbi, has been turning in some hilarious, take-no-prisoners reporting on the campaign trail, and this week's (Oct 2) piece is no exception since he's met the perfect subject (Sarah Palin) for his snarky, dead-on-the-mark observations ("Mad Dog Palin. The scarierst thing about John McCain's running mate isn't how unqualified she is -- it's what her candidacy says about America." Oct 2, 2008).

Taking no prisoners, Taibi notes that Palin's speech before the gathered Republicans was ". . . like watching Gidget address the Reichstag." Then goes on to note, with savage glee:

"Right-wingers of the Bush-Rove ilk have had a tough time finding a human face to put on their failed, inhuman, mean-as-hell policies. But it was hard not to recognize the genius of wedding that faltering brand of institutionalized greed to the image of the suburban American supermom. It's the perfect cover, for there is almost nothing in the world meaner than this species of provincial tyrant.

"Palin herself burned this political symbiosis into thepages of history with her seminal crack about the "difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull: lipstick," blurring once and for all the lines between meanness on the grand political scale as understood by the Roves and Bushes of the world, and meanness of the small-town variety as understood by pretty much anyone who has ever sat around in his ranch-house den dreaming of a fourth plasma-screen TV or an extra set of KC HiLites for his truck, while some ghetto family a few miles away shares a hustkof government cheese.

"In her speech, Palin presented herself as a raging baby-making furnace of middle-class ambition next to whom the yuppies of the Obama set -- who never want anything all that badly except maybe a few afternoons with someone else's wife, or a few kind words in The New York Times Book Review -- seem like weak, self-doubting celibates, the kind of people who certainly cannot be trusted to believe in the right God or to defend a nation. We're used to seeing such blatant cultural caricaturing in our politicians. But Sarah Palin is something new. She's all caricature. As the candidate of a party whose positions on individual issues are poll losers almost across the board, her shtick is not even designed to sell a line of policies. It's just designed to sell her. The thing was as much as admitted in the on-air gaffe by former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, who was inadvertently caught saying on MSNBC that Palin wasn't the most qualified candidate, that the party 'went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narrative.'

"The great insight of the Palin VP choice is that huge chunks of American voters no longer even demand that their candidates actually have policy positions; they simply consume them as media entertainment, rooting for or agains them according to the reflexive prejudices of their demographic, as they would for reality-show contestants or sitcom characters. Hicks root for hicks, moms for moms, born-agains for born-agains. Sure, there was politics in the Palin speech, but it was all either silly lies or merely incidental fluffery buttressing the theatrical performance. A classic example of what was at work here came when Palin proudly introduced her Down-syndrome baby, Trig, then stared into the camera and somberly promised parents of special-needs kids that they would "have a friend and advocate in the White House." This was about a half-hour before she raised her hands in triumph with McCain, a man who voted against increasing funding for special-needs education."

Gidget and the Reichstag, indeed. Bwa-hahahah. Get a copy, on newsstands today! Read it and weep.

9 comments:

franc4 said...

Just one more critics opinion....a critic who delves in controversy for attention of the closed minded.

Why does everyone believe that McClain will follow Bushes policies. He must have labled himself a "maverick" for a reason?

SayethDog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*PG-13 said...

Franc4 said > He must have labled himself a "maverick" for a reason?

Uh, to get elected? Ya think?

A timely pertinent quote from - of alllllll places - the Emmy Awards on Sunday. Wherein Tommy Smothers was awarded a Commemorative Emmy for .... Outstanding Writing Achievement in a Comedy/Variety show? Nah, it was really for being the Daily Show 40 years ago.

Tommy said > "Just one last thought, there’s one word that exists in every language on the face of the Earth, in every society from the time man began to speak and the word is 'truth'. It exists in every language and it means exactly the same thing . . . . Truth - truth is what you get other people to believe."

No truer words have ever been spoken.

If you have a life and didn't happen to catch it. Through the magic of YouTube you can still catch it here. What's not to like? A Steve Martin intro with shout out's to Mason Williams, Rob Reiner, Bob Einstein and Pat Paulsen. Treat yourself to a 6 minute memory walk. (Assuming you still have memory functions ;-)

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Franc,

I'm not giving Palin and McCain a pass on the issues because they are believers and because they are pro-Life (which I am as well).

I could stomach McCain as president ... he is probably better than the other republicans running with the possible exception of Romney.

Sarah Palin as a running mate makes me wonder about his wisdom and/or senility. If president is such an important job, why would he pick someone with so little of the experience necessary for the job?

I've also been somewhat to very troubled about how the Palin/McCain ticket has been using deceptive campaigning to win the vote in some places. To characterize Obama's education bill as support for comprehensive sex ed for kindergarteners was an out-n-out lie.

I'm leaning toward Obama who seems to spend more time thinking thru the issues than McCain.

Sarah's pride in her ignorance scares me. She bragged that she got a D in macroeconomics while running for AK governor ... two years ago. Has she really changed all that much in the last two years?

Realistic1 said...

Immediately prior to her UN meeting with various heads-of-state today, Sara Palin booted all reporters from the room. They could leave their cameras and photographers, but no reporters.

CNN's response: We'll take our reporters AND our cameras and go....so much for the glorious photo-op that Palin's handlers had planned.

What a shock that Palin didn't want a public airing of her foreign relations "expertise"....

I can't wait for the VP debate! The country will finally see what a "hair-do" McCain has selected under the mis-guided impression that American women will vote for her simply because she has ovaries.

franc4 said...

Shark,

You gotta admit this electionis a tough one, right?
Each candidate carries alot of "baggage". Friends have sent me e-mails which show the bad sides of each candidate.....and both have many.
Of late, Obama seems incoherent and John seems to be counterdicting himself alot, which is understandable, to a point, due to the pressure they are both under, still unacceptable. On the other hand, sound bits can be edited and pieced together to present whatever impression one is attemting to achieve. So what are we to believe?
This election is more like voting for cancer or a heart attack.

franc4 said...

*pg13,

You seem to be "into" what show biz people have to say about alot of things. Myself, I enjoy what they represent.....entertainment. Very few, with the exception of Bonno, know what they are talking about. Their opinions carry about as much weight as most people who blog here.....they are just opinions.
As for Tommys' thing on "truth"...to me, that's a "no brainer". If you just learned that, or hadn't know that, where have you been? The Bible is full of truth and the importance of same.....2000 years old!

I admire most of the celebrities you mention, but you know them on a more personal basis, if you are who I think you are. :-/

PS. MOST of my memory functions seem to be in tact...... for the time being, at least. ;-)

franc4 said...

Shark,

I forgot one point. I feel there is much ado about Ms. Palin. Don't all politicians have speech writers? Have you seen the e-mail circulating about the women in Alaska? She is not very popular with womens groups there,but it's not clear why from the e-mail I got. Haven't checked Snopes yet.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Franc,

This election could be a tough one for me ... if McCain had chosen a running mate with an appropriate amount of experience. (Heck, Carly Fiorina, one of McCain's "economic advisors" said that Palin would not be qualified to run HP ... if that is the case, how the heck could anyone consider her qualified to run the whole friggin country?) Had McCain also not been part of the Keating 5 and shown some real insight by voting against the deregulation of the mortgage industry, it would be downright close.

However, as it is, the call is quite easy. That Obama is quite clearly a believer who is open about his own humanness makes it even easier to vote for him.

I wouldn't say that Obama is incoherent as I would say that he understands that there needs to be nuance in both our domestic and foreign policy. McCain does have his reputation as a Maverick (TM) ... but he seems to have little interest in understanding the subtleties before reaching decisions. Palin even less so ...

I won't say that Obama represents all my opinions, but he does seem like a common sense antidote to the general Republican tendency to say that the free market solves all problems and to say that the best foreign policy is based on the use of force rather than diplomacy.