Raingod’s Weblog

Snark spoken here

Quick Reminder

Late Tuesday night, the amount of traffic at mudflats.net crashed the servers. That’s the bad news. The good news is, the site is directing traffic to the original wordpress blog and the live chat will take place tonight. I’ll be one of several moderating the live chat, and invite you all to stop by and say hello. I’ll be logging in about 5:30 PM Pacific time and will be there most of the night. 

I’m also planning on creating a podcast within the next few days, so stay tuned for that.

http://www.mudflats.wordpress.com is where the fun takes place.

October 2, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , | Leave a comment

WTF?

I mean seriously, WTF?

When Americans blame Republicans for the financial crisis by a margin of 2-1, a VP nominee whose approval rating dipped 10 points in a week, when a neck and neck race is suddenly breaking out-but not in your favor, what do you do?

If you’re John McCain, you suspend your campaign and say you need to be in DC to work on the financial crisis. I might give him the benefit of the doubt on this but for one thing. Obama called McCain’s campaign at 830 this morning, asking to issue a joint message about the need for bipartisanship in order to move past the crisis.

See, when you offer more of the same, with no ideas of your own, you do anything you can to win, whether you deserve the win or not. The problem for Johnny Mac is that people are beginning to see through the charades, and they’re pissed off. With this new stunt, McCain may as well give his concession speech.

September 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

I was right

Last week over on the mudflats blog, as the financial industry imploded on its bought out, greedy carcass, I said Obama would take over as leader in the polls with over 50%. In the latest poll from abcnews and the Washington Post, Obama is up 52-43%. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/24/83-percent-of-americans-t_n_128822.html Much of that can be atributed to the ties McCain has the financial industry, and the fact that 8 years of Bush policies has not only failed, but dug a hole so deep it will be a long while before the country can climb out.

I also think it’s something else. For all their talk of change and reform, of transparent government, McCain/Palin are showing it’s all talk. McCain is still guilty of voting with Bush 91% of the time. Palin with help from the McCain team is still stonewalling the troopergate investigation. They talk about issues with no idea of how to fix them. Palin isn’t allowed to talk to the press, was ushered through meetings with minor world leaders for photo ops, and yet the republicans still claim she’s fit.

Physically fit, perhaps, but was there ever a more vacuous, shallow VP nominee? Not in my lifetime. The truth express McCain is so proud of hass derailed.

Not that it was ever on track to begin with.

September 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

The debate debacle

As if this election couldn’t take any further odd twists, comes this little tidbit from the NY Times.

At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.

McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.

It’s not enough that they’ve run some of the sleaziest ads in campaign history; blocked an investigation with troopergate; limited or denied access to Palin by the media, now they feel the need to change the rules of the debate because they’re worried she won’t do well.  If she can’t even hold her own in a debate without her handlers changing the rules, how in hell is she ready to become a VP?

We all know the answer, she’s not qualified. And the more they shield her from the press, run ads based on slogans, and continue to hide her dirty secrets, the more the public will catch on. For all their rhetoric about being Mavericks and reformers, they seem to barely know the definition of those words, let alone act in that way.

September 20, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , | 4 Comments

What are they hiding?

Thanks to AKMuckraker over at the mudfalts blog, for posting this piece by AK rep. Les Gara. I think it’s important enough to repost on my blog so others may read it. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, this should scare you.

Since Monday the McCain camp has stepped up its personal attacks against Alaskans. They’ve continued their D.C.-style tactics against neighbors in this small state. The game plan is to find an excuse to stop our Legislature’s Troopergate investigation, and hide evidence McCain’s folks really don’t want to surface before November’s election. It’s been a little Karl Rove, and parts Laurel and Hardy. How else can you explain the following?
Last week the Attorney general’s office promised state witnesses would comply with subpoenas the Legislature issued last week. Tuesday the Governor’s Attorney General flip flopped, and announced that state witnesses wouldn’t comply because, well, and I’m paraphrasing here – he’s changed his mind. And in what has to be an idea hatched after a 4th Martini at Chilkoot Charlie’s, Governor Palin’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the ethics claim she filed against herself two weeks ago. Yup. She really filed a complaint against herself. Tuesday she said she’s discovered, after a thorough investigation of herself, that she’s done nothing wrong. Does anyone know how to get a hold of Jon Stewart and Tina Fey?
It’s silly season up here in the far north, but this week’s moves are aimed at one thing: John McCain’s effort to find cover for being disingenuous. See, before Governor Palin’s nomination for the Republican VP spot, she did the honest thing. She admitted the evidence – of roughly 20 contacts between her staff and husband with Public Safety officials, seeking the firing of Governor Palin’s former brother-in-law – might lead a reasonable person to the conclusion that the she misused her office to fire a state employee. So when Alaska’s Republican-led Legislature called for an investigation, she did the honorable thing and said she and her staff would comply. She denies any wrongdoing.
Things changed on August 29 when Governor Palin was added to the McCain ticket. Since then his handlers have told her she can’t testify. They don’t want the evidence in this case to come out. They don’t want her to testify under oath. They don’t want other witnesses to testify under oath. So they have engaged in daily maneuvers to attack, as disloyal to the McCain campaign, anyone who wants the investigation to move forward. They’ve now attacked two well respected prosecutors, and perhaps the state’s most highly regarded law enforcement official – the Public Safety Commissioner she hired, and then fired, Walt Monegan.
Every day this week McCain operatives have sung the same tune. Today a guy with an East Coast accent, who knows nothing about Alaska, stood in front of a McCain-Palin banner to lead the attacks against people he doesn’t know. At press conferences on Monday and Tuesday campaign staffer Megan Stapleton spit vitriol to repeat her argument that this investigation is really a “Democratic” attack on Governor Palin.
See, that’s easier than just saying their VP has reneged on her promise to testify. It’s easier than just saying they don’t want anyone testifying before the November election. It’s easier than admitting they are stonewalling a legislative investigation.
Here are a few things they failed to say. There are a few small facts that make it hard to style this as a Democratic investigation. One is that Alaska is a Republican State. We have a Republican Governor and a Legislature of 34 Republicans and 26 Democrats. This summer the Legislature’s Legislative Council voted 12-0 (8 Republicans and 4 Democrats) to hire an investigator, and appointed Democratic Senator Hollis French, a well-respected former prosecutor, to find an investigator. Governor Palin stated she and her employees would comply with the investigation. French then hired Steve Branchflower, a former DA who most recently was hired by legislative Republicans to run the state’s Office of Victims rights.
And on Friday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 (2 Democrats and 1 Republican in favor); and the House Judiciary Committee issued a 7 – 0 (5 Republicans, 2 Democrats) advisory vote, to issue subpoenas to witnesses the McCain camp had previously stopped from testifying.
Over the last two days McCain’s outside operatives have vilified former prosecutor Hollis French – as an Obama supporter who must have called this investigation to hurt the McCain ticket. But French was appointed to oversee the investigation by a 12 – 0 Legislative Council vote, and is probably the state’s most respected legislator – by Republicans and Democrats alike. He’s so popular the Republican Party couldn’t find anyone to run against him this year.
They’ve called former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan – a Native Alaskan who has served Republican and Democratic Administrations with honor, and put his life on the line in uniform – “insubordinate.” Odd, given that when Governor Palin fired him she offered him a different job. I guess being “insubordinate” was a job requirement for the new position. And they’ve challenged the independence of an investigator and former DA, who has no animus anyone can find.
Those Swift boat ads taught the McCain folks that if you say something untrue enough times, it can stick.
My favorite moment of the week came when Governor Palin’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss Palin’s ethics complaint against herself. Stay with me. Her attorneys have been buying the peyote, not me. See, on August 29 they needed to find a way to stop the Legislature’s investigation. They tried asking the Republican leaders to call it off, and take one for the team. But the Senate President and others honorably said no. So they came up with an argument that the State Personnel Board – 3 people appointed by Governor Palin and her Republican predecessor Frank Murkowski – had “exclusive jurisdiction” to investigate wrongdoing by the Governor. The Legislature wasn’t amused. So Governor Palin then filed a complaint against herself.
That, they said, put “jurisdiction” in the hands of their friends at the Personnel Board. They argued that since the Personnel Board was now proceeding with an “investigation”, the Legislature couldn’t.
To put icing on the cake, on Monday the Governor’s attorneys moved to dismiss the Governor’s case against herself. They said, and I loosely paraphrase again – that they tried really hard and just couldn’t find any evidence that the Governor did anything wrong. OK. I can’t believe I just wrote that. And I wish it weren’t true.
These are the things you have to do when your Presidential candidate doesn’t want his VP to honor a promise, and doesn’t want evidence to come out before an election. These are the things you have to do if your folks aren’t going to comply with a subpoena. That’s because without spin the headline might read: “McCain Interferes With Investigation Palin Agreed To.” How easy it is to re-write a headline. They learned that during the Swift boat campaign too.
All we can hope for is that members of the press will remember what they learned in journalism school. Not to repeat the spin of political operatives without reporting the truth. Not to write “he said she said” stories, and pretend the truth is somewhere in the middle. But to report the facts. No matter how you spin it, Governor Palin promised to comply with this Legislative Investigation. McCain’s folks got her to change her position. And the Legislature that voted for the investigation did so on a bi-partisan basis. End of story. End of headline.
Over the next few days McCain’s folks will try to get local legislators to step in line, out of party loyalty, and reverse their vote to investigate Troopergate. But many local Republicans, like Senate President Lyda Green, have so far refused to play those politics.

September 17, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , , | 4 Comments

Making things clear

Thanks to STNY over on the mudflats blog for posting this.

 

I’m a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight…..

· If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re

“exotic, different.”

· Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American

story.

· If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

· Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

· Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

· Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re well

grounded.

· If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the

first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter

registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years

as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator

representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of

the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years

in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people

while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs,

Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you

don’t have any real leadership experience.

· If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city

council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000

people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people,

then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking

executive.

· If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while

raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re

not a real Christian.

· If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your

disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a

Christian.

· If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including

the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

· If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no

other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your

unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you’re very responsible.

· If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in

a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city

community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values

don’t represent America’s.

· If you’re husband is nicknamed “First Dude”, with at least one DWI

conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until

age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession

of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

September 11, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , | 5 Comments

recollections of 9/11

The alarm clock was set to wake me up with the radio. Bleary eyed and barely conscious I heard something about a plane crashing into the WTC. They didn’t mention anything about it being an airliner, and I didn’t give it much thought. I turned on CNN and was in time to see the second plane crash. I was stunned. In spite of what I was seeing, my mind just wouldn’t register what was happening. These were buildings I’d witnessed being built as a kid growing up in New York. 

Then there was talk about planes being flown into the Pentagon, the white house, you name it. There was pandemonium as reporters scrambled to find the latest tidbit of information.

Meanwhile George Bush read a children’s book.

I dressed, caught my bus to work and watched the tv in the break room. Things were getting worse, as (all false it would turn out) report after report began to filter in about what was happening. Nobody could work. All we could do was watch in horror as something so unimaginable suddenly became a reality.

I’ve witnessed and expreienced many things in my life, but I don’t think anything ever scared me as much as that morning. I started crying and couldn’t stop. It took me several attempts to get my mom’s phone # right. All I could say was that I loved her.

For that one brief moment, I thought it could be the end of the world. We were sent home, and a coworker offered to drive me. We sat in silence listening to the news on the local talk radio station. every now and then we’d both wipe tears from our eyes.

I ran up the stairs o my apt and turned on CNN again. A tower had collapsed and the footage of that wall of smoke, debris, dust, dirt, paper and who knew what else, rushing down the street, covering and comsuming people in its wake stunned me. 

7 years later, it all still seems like a bad dream, something I’ll wake up from eventually, but I know it will never go away. I saw the footage of people jumping from buildings to their deaths 90 floors below. Reporters asking where the President was. Where the VP was. Where the hell was anybody?

CNN was my constant companion over the following days and weeks. I tried to wrap my head around how this could happen. Yet, what kept popping into my mind was how much worse it could have been. As a country we’ve been fortunate enough to be spared some of the worst terrorist attacks that have plagued Europe and the middle east over the centuries. We’ve been lucky.

But that day, our luck ran out…and an era of Bush strong arm tactics began. now I’m no pascifist, but I believe in fighting for a reason. When we went into Afghanistan, to root out AL Queda and the Taliban I agreed with that. The hunt for bin-Laden? Get the bastard. Go into Pakistan? If that’s where bin Laden is, go get him. 

sadly Bush and co. used this tragic, horrendous attack to wage war without so much as a peep. As they trample on the Constitution, eye Iran and use everything at their disposal to seat their puppet MCCain, they want to continue their wars.

That can’t happen. Obama/Biden provide the only choice to restore this country. McCain/Palin are a gruesome twosome of more of the same. More war, more death, a further degraded economy, an assault on Roe v. Wade, more tax cuts for big business, while real people like you and meean continue to get the shaft.

To honor those who perished in the attacks, to make their deaths even more meaningful, stop the war, and vote against those who would keep us in eternal conflict.

September 11, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mama Rain and Sister Rain

I spoke with Mama Raingods this morning, curious about her take on the speech from Scaracuda last night. Let me preface her comment by saying she’s been a lifelong Republican and switched to being a Democrat in 1996 only because she thought Bob Dole was too old to be president and was concerned about her impening retirement. In many ways she’s still a Republican, and was somewhat comfortable voting for McCain. Her response to me was, “That woman is batshit crazy. There’s no way I’d ever vote for him as long as she’s on the ticket.”

I asked her how my sister was doing in the wake of the hurricane, and she said that Sister raingod’s brother in-law went with her husband to total up the damage and it came to 31,000 dollars, not including what was in the garage. The Red Cross had gotten them assistance within 72 hours, and FEMA said they could apply for a loan through them and it would take 90-120 days to process.

It’s that kind of red tape that is strangling this country.

September 4, 2008 Posted by | My Life | , , , | 4 Comments

That Gov!

One of the funniest things I’ve seen about politics recently. I’m still wiping coffee off my keyboard.

http://world-o-crap.com/blog/?p=965

September 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment