Sarah Palin


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And puts me in the mood to rant and if I could, slap some people upside their bloated with nonsense heads.

Weinergate leaves me near to a tongue-tied rage. What the fuck? How can tweeting your, as my husband put it “Nothing to be all that proud of,” crotch shot to your entire feed by accident because you are an idiot who is cheating on his wife with star-struck groupies young enough to be your daughters and then lying about it for a week be morphed into a teary girly photo-op apology and justification for hanging onto your job?

And why are liberals, progressives and Independents who are too wise to fall for Republican garbage, defending your sorry ass?

Jon Stewart summed it up best – after he mocked the representative from New York without mercy – that if guilty, he had to resign. He delivered it in a “you’re dead to me” tone that fairly sums up Anthony Weiner’s usefulness to his beleaguered party now. He has no credibility and isn’t likely to crawl out of the hole he dug from himself with his penis anytime soon. Anyone who thinks otherwise is no better than the GOP apologists who excuse every moral mortal character flaw of their party’s representatives.

Hypocrisy thy name is also willful denial.

Apparently Weiner is harping on another great American hypocrite and sexually indiscreet aging man, supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as he gets ready to hear a case on the health care bill – which incidentally his wife is a lobbyist working hard to defeat. Conflict of interest thy name is also hypocrisy.

As I watch Sarah Palin scoot by any real media coverage while the Left Leaning stupidly underestimate her very real and growing stronger with the bad economy chances of weaseling herself a presidential nomination, I recall a conversation I had not long ago with Rob.

“I am not wasting another vote on Obama this coming election,” I said.

“Oh,” he replied, “you going to vote Republican?”

“I’m not going to vote at all.”

“What if Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann become president and vice-president as a result?” he asked.

“It’s less than what the people of America deserve at this point,” I said. “Maybe a horrendously awful president in the White House will be the wake up call people will finally heed.”

“Nah, ” he said, “they are all doomed.”

Felt like the crack of doom today reading Facebook feeds at the Daily Kos. The majority of the posters were completely willing to dismiss what a wiener Wiener is just because he represents their political views. Ends meet means. Like a person’s character isn’t important? Apparently it’s not when a politician is perceived as “doing his job”, but what if he was a great teacher? Would his lewd hobby with other adults sit as well?

Character counts. We beat our kids over the head with that every day in public schools all over America. Shouldn’t it count in politics? I used to believe that what a politician did in his off time wasn’t the public’s business. But not when he can’t be honest about who he is when he brings his suspect values into the public arena. A real stand up guy would take his lumps, but then a real stand up guy doesn’t cheat on his wife or embarrass those who count on him with lies and penis pictures.


2012 Republican Presidential Candidates

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If there is one thing I hate, it’s defending the less defensible of my gender from sexism. In the wake of the apparent upcoming tug of war for the hearts and minds of conservative leaning voters that pundits feel certain that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann will wage, the stereotypes fly about in the thick and annoying manner of mosquitos on an Alberta late May evening.

The Huffington Post referenced it as “the battle of the Snooki’s” and I stumbled across a blog whose author believes that both Sarah and Michele are hot enough to settle their differences in bikinis and a mud pit.

A friend posted a reference to their combined, and supposed, brainlessness to her Facebook status that elicited a lot of yuks, but I just cringe and sigh.

Why?

Because even though there are easily just as many male politicians with batshit crazy ideas in the GOP, they are seldom the butt of jokes that infer that their gender is to blame.

It’s a given that women in the public spotlight, and especially those that dare to seek political office, can be taken down via their appearance, attacks on their single, married, mother or not choices, and by insinuating that their extra X exerts a difficult for them to control influence over emotions and their ability to think. Men are seldom, if ever, held to such stringent accounts. And so even if Palin and Bachmann are intellectually deficient, and I don’t believe that based on their levels of success, unless the same measures of fitness are applied to male candidates as well, this is not a good plan of attack for those opposed to either woman making a showing in the coming 2012 primary season.

The reason I feel this way is simple. Whatever modus operandi is sanctioned for use against them will be used again and again in the future. It will deter women from entering politics and marginalize or sink those that do.

And Palin and Bachmann are credible threats even if you don’t think much of them, their politics or the religious, conservative and very white-power oriented views they represent. What they are pushing sells and given the dire straits of many Americans – particularly the white working class which feels increasingly left behind and victimized – allowing them, Palin especially, a legitimate access to playing the victim role, is bad strategy.

Underestimating women seeking power roles, in my experience, nearly always bites back hard. Make no mistake that both Palin and Bachmann are in politics for what it brings them and not what they can do for their country, and people like that should be taken seriously.


sarah palin's political hit list

Though it’s not actually clear that Sarah Palin’s SarahPAC “targeting” of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, incited the gunman who shot her in the head at point-blank range earlier today, it is clear that a sizable portion of the population in Arizona is bat-shit crazy.

A reader of Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish reported overhearing the following conversation shortly after word of the shooting began to spread through Tucson:

I am standing in the aisle at Costco when I found out my Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, has been shot dead up on the north side.

While I’m scrambling with my phone, two couples in front of me are talking about it and suddenly I hear one of the women say, “Well, that’s to be expected when you’re so liberal.”

And the other woman says, “Ohh, so we get to appoint a Republican?”

I did not trust myself to speak. I’m a Soldier. Please remind me what country I am fighting for? At least seven people are dead. She happens to be the only member of Congress married to an active duty military — he’s a Navy officer serving as an astronaut.

Giffords herself, in a eerie moment of prescience, about the dangers brewing in her state during the midterm elections that inspired Palin to “target” Democrats in close races had this to say,

“They really need to realize that the rhetoric and firing people up, and, you know, even things for example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, you gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”

A friend, (via my late husband) who lives in Tucson, had this to say about the shooting when someone asked her why she was worried that Democrats would retaliate,

“Because that is why she got shot. Not because she is a Dem, it is the issues. She supports liberal immigration views and most of AZ does not. She supports the healthcare reform and many are violently against it. The border of Mexico is very close to Tucson and many shots have been fired over this already, just never on a public figure. They have put other politicians and figures under protective custody on both sides of the debate.”

It’s the issues, stupid.

But not really. They claim it’s about immigration and being forced to go along with health care reform, but it’s heart is that the American Dream – built on unlimited acquisition and unsustainable upward mobility, whose heart is unlimited acquisition – is gone.

Not that it – the Dream – ever really existed. The whole thing was the ultimate cliché, a house of cards built on a sandy beach. But those in the middle bought in and those just below them were semi-content to pretend that with the right pair of straps on their boots they could move up too, and the illusion took root and grew in soil that has long since played out.

This last decade oversaw the last gasp and the bitch known as “payback” has moved in for good.

Because the shooter is in custody, his MySpace page and YouTube vids shutdown, it’s unlikely that the public will ever really know the truth. Which serves both sides. The GOP and Fox News can claim that he was a disturbed individual and that their courting of the lunatic fringe known as The Tea Party had nothing to do with the attempted assassination of Giffords, the death of an Arizona judge or the snuffing of an innocent nine-year old girl, while the Democrats can underplay and conciliate, letting their own liberal loony lap-dog fringe scream and cry conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the people, who have no fucking idea of what is really going on, will take uneducated sides and continue to give away their rights and trust in the wrong people. They have spent so much of the last couple of decades blindly rubber stamping the theft of their freedom that they haven’t any idea where they actually stand on the playing field anymore.

Immigration and health care are distractions. There are real, credible threats afoot, and it’s the people who are fiddling among the burning ruins of an America that never existed in the first place. It’s hard not to admire the brilliance and scope of what is going on, even while recognizing that something wicked continues its inevitable march our way.

I guess the revolution might be tweeted after all.


 

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Image by Elisabeth Moore via Flickr

 

Jennier Petkov has the dubious honor of being the 85th most googled term this afternoon thanks to her stunningly self-absorbed Housewife of New Jersey via Michigan turn on a local news channel.

In case you’ve missed Jennifer, she’s the trending troll de jour due to her harpy-ish harassment of her neighbor’s dying grand-daughter, and her relentless campaign to mock the death of the little girl’s mother.

Mother and daughter carried the deadly Huntington’s gene. The mother passed away at 24 and the now seven-year old daughter is in the last stages of a disease that eats away brain tissue.

What would drive someone to mock and torment the terminally ill?

It’s the culmination of a two-year feud that began when Jennifer mistakenly believed that her neighbors had deliberately excluded her son from a birthday party. I believe there was a bouncy house involved. The Trojan War and WWI were bouncy house snubs, I believe.

Regardless, the battle was afoot and has trampled all over Jennifer’s neighborhood and with a little help front Photoshop, she took it to Facebook even.

Enter the press. And cue the clever pot-stirrer who uploaded this clip to YouTube:

My favorite part … aside from the head bobbing – their heads always bob – why? … is when the near speechless reporter asks Jennifer why she would do such a thing.

Her answer was basically because she could and it was fun.

“Take it or leave it,” she says as her final justification.

And here is where she is you.

Just like Christine O’Donnell is you.

And Glenn Beck is you.

And that incredibly pouty, spoiled football player’s wife on The View is you.

The feeling that personal entitlement is all and that change, or meeting half way, is for the weak, those who aren’t strong enough (or too cognizant of the interconnectedness of humanity).

I wouldn’t defend Jennifer, but she is hardly an anomaly. The people bashing her today are Jennifer. Those who dedicated hate pages across the Social Mediascape to shame her and “give her a dose of her own medicine” are her too.

Jennifer’s mean girl ways are a timely find. Bullying is all over the news. Much hand-wringing and wondering why.

But there is nothing to wonder about. Bullying is part of who we are. It’s steeped in our culture of “take me or leave me”. The idea that we are free to impose, judge, forcibly coerce and bare our teeth like the Darwinian creatures we are is exactly what makes it possible for teens to mimic their same-sex fearing parents when they pick at their gay classmates until the whites of their bones show.

Sarah Palin‘s eye rolls. Rachel Maddow‘s contempt. Bill O’Reilly’s brow-beating. Jon Stewart‘s mockery. It’s Jennifer with a polish and book smarts, but it’s Jennifer no less. We are a nation of bullies. Our politics, our religions, our social fabric really is based on the idea that if the cause is perceived righteous – anything that has to be said or done to get the masses to line up and bleat is justified.

Just last evening, my oldest nephew pulled a “take it or leave it” on me. He’d spent the day before stirring the family crisis pot with teen angst and over-reaction that culminated in him “running away” for the night to make his point. When I talked with him the next day – after all the adults had made contact, assessed the actual facts and were on the same united page – he admitted that perhaps he’d gotten a bit overwrought,

“But it’s who I am,” he said, “and I can’t change it.”

I disagreed, and I still do. People are who they want to be. Their words and actions are who they are. Hurtfulness, manipulations that add up to bullying behavior aren’t justified by the ends no matter how heinous or righteous the cause. Jennifer was wrong, but the people who are harassing her right now are wrong too. They are bullies too.

Jennifer’s cause was the selfish preservation of face. She over-reacted two years ago but couldn’t admit it. She fell back on learned behavior that is not so different from what many people do on smaller scales in their places of work and within their families or social networks.

But any time words – or worse – are used to twist facts or to wound, it’s bullying. We Americans are mean girls at our core.  Hypocrites. Just like Jennifer.

“Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.” – author unknown

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Rebecca Traister has a book out, disseminating the 2008 Presidential election in the U.S. and its beneficial fallout for women.

Mostly it retreads the worn “old lady feminists versus younger women” wars. I am sure you remember. Women of a certain age support Clinton while the youthful and hip females supported Obama. It’s generational twaddle that misses the point on both ends. The bra-burning demo can’t understand the lack of gratitude and reluctance to carry a torch that handed women as many new issues as it alleviated – temporarily – old ones. Younger women, on the other hand, are too complacent and too eager to look at the side-effects of the women’s rights movement as “improvements” when the reality is that we are still as second class as we ever were – our cages are just roomier and furnished with IKEA.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

Jezebel interviewed Traister and asked the following:

J: Instead, you write, what ended up galvanizing young women and others around Hillary was seeing how she was treated in the media… It’s still amazing to go back and watch that footage. It’s interesting that these were mostly older guys on MSNBC and Fox, and yet you also argue that there was also sexism among younger male Obama supporters when it came to Hillary.

And Traister rehashed the sexist old codgers at the major news outlets but added this bit about younger men that really annoyed me:

RT: At the time, I wrote about what I perceived as a complicated misogynist vibe coming from some of the young male Obama devotees in the last stages of the primary cycle. I think one of the reasons that I was so struck by it — and this is not to give some pass to all younger men — is that there is such a marked generational change among men. There’s more of an awareness of gender, they’re often raised by feminist moms and working moms. Men who are [at least] used to the idea of equally splitting domestic duties; they’re active fathers.

I had actually come to expect much more from young men. We’re very lucky to live with a new generation of men, and I think our kids will be luckier still. But this was an instance in which some old attitudes seemed to bubble up among younger men.

What?

Why are we so lucky exactly? Men are granting us the rights that were ours all along anyway, and we should be grateful? That men are finally actively raising their own children, picking up a tiny bit of the housework slack and not total douches á la Mad Men? We should be grateful when men behave as though the women in their lives are valuable, smart, and they are damn lucky that anyone so awesome would agree to share a bed with them? Gratitude for what simply should be?

Give me a break.

I’m not going to pat a guy on the head and say “good boy” for doing something he should do without thought.

Like Obama.

Man‘s done so little for women that I can’t fathom any woman voting for him in 2012 without getting in writing how he plans to show his gratitude.

I can’t speak for all women, or any women at all really, but I am done with the grateful. All the “nots” on the list of what should be “givens” for females puts “grateful” in an harsh ugly light, but isn’t that the way of reality?


Sarah Palin t-shirt

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…he could bless America today because she is going to need it over the next 15 months.

We don’t hear much about 9/11 up here except for the anti-Muslim stuff that is. Koran burning has made our news, and the mostly live and let live folk that Canadians are – it just reinforcing the opinion that Americans are not the freedom loving people they proclaim ala Hamlet’s mother to be.

So with the wingnuts roasting weiners around a book bonfire and Sarah Palin nipping about Obama’s presidential re-election hopes, those who perished at ground zero truly deserve better.

We all deserve better.

But we aren’t going to get it.

So, God? Bless America if you really have the power ‘cuz it’s about to get uglier.


Something happened last week that made me stop, again, and ponder the American landscape. More specifically, the people who litter the landscape with their ignorant misguided views on the economy, health care reform, Sarah Palin and President Obama – just to pick a few out of the multitude of things they whine worry about.

First, I got unfriended on Facebook. Again? That’s hardly new and earth-shattering. True, many of my old high school acquaintances find my political and social views to be of the radical bra burning sort. Given that I don’t wear bras, perhaps I am more old school femi-nazi than I think, but my position is that they are willfully misinformed wusses. Fox News is no substitute for reading and thinking, and in these interesting times, only the informed and forward thinking are going to emerge the least scathed. Our old Civics teacher, the wonderful Kenny Herbst, must rue the time he wasted trying to instill democratic principles in some of us.

My old acquaintance is a tea-bagging sort though he lazily tweets the revolution via his home page rather than take the time away from his middle class pursuits to walk Glenn Beck’s talk.

Like so many of what passes for middle class Americans anymore, he views life entirely from the viewpoint of a toddler.

How does this affect me? What’s in it for me? If my life isn’t in a constant state of material growth – then my government isn’t doing its job! Where’s the expansion? What happened to my prosperity?! It’s the liberals’ fault! Socialism, Will Robinson!!  Socialism! Vote them out! Vote them out!!

I am too harsh? Here is a quote I found via Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish. Jill Dorson is a writer, and a former small business owner  thanks to the recession, who voted for Obama and now has buyer’s remorse.

It was clear after just 90 days what a mistake I’d made. My taxes have gone up and my quality of life has gone down. Hope has given way to disgust and I see now that change is simply a euphemism for “big government.”

Like many others, my view is narrow. I vote for the candidate I think will be best for me. I often define myself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. But above all, I want to feel safe and I don’t want to feel that I am being ripped off. I want a president who inspires me and cares about my contribution to the fabric of the country. I want a president with experience and savvy, a Commander in Chief who puts our country and its citizens first.

I only hope the Republicans can find him the next time around.

Sullivan deemed her a big baby. One of the hordes of the “gimme, gimme” types that make up the lunatic fringe that passes for the Republican party and infects many Independents these days. Newsweek wonders if Americans haven’t become “ungovernable”, a population screaming for change as long as it comes at someone else’s expense.

Ask them not to do for their country because the country exists only to do for them. And that’s not socialism. No sir. Funds and programs directed at the unworthy are socialist. Tax cuts for smallish sized businesses and hard-working middle class ( it still puzzles me how they can ALL be middleclass) people is the American capitalistic way of the Founding Fathers. It says so in The Constitution.

Sullivan points out that there isn’t much one can say to people who view the current economic realities from an enraged teenaged-like narcissism. And Dorson admits that she is just like most people in that she really only cares about how things affect her and what is important to her. Like most of my fellow adults, she has no concept of the greater good or that the long-term is just that. Long.

I am no fan of Obama. I was a Clinton supporter. I still resent the way the Obama campaign never made a play for us, simply expecting us to suck it up and follow him. I never for a minute expected him to swoop into Washington and change the system. The White House changes its occupants, not the other way around. But he was all there was by way of viable options, and I hoped he’d be more of a leader than he’s been so far. Set an agenda. Follow through on more than a few of his promises. If this were “normal” times, I would not be worried. It can take time to find one’s presidential feet, but he has never had the time luxury, and he’s rapidly approaching “time’s up”, I fear.

Why?

Because of my former FB buddy and people like Julie. They don’t have the stamina required to adjust to harder times that are likely to deteriorate a lot bit more in the coming year.

FB Bud threw regular status bar fits about gasoline prices. Clueless about what drives prices, or that gasoline is not oil’s only end product, all he knew was that the cost curtailed his leisure spending. The boat couldn’t be out on the river as often and visits to the casinos were less frequent. His middle-class entitlement lifestyle took a hit.

It was Obama’s fault or Nancy Pelosi’s or the health care reform bill, that “no one needs or wants because health care is something a person needs to take care of himself”. And when he wasn’t thanking God for Glenn Beck and the access to real news at Fox, he harassed those who supplied him with facts by labeling them liberals, whether they were or not. Being informed is a one of the Four Horsemen of the Socialist Apocalypse. News gleaned from factual reporting might be contagious and spoil the milk or kill the neighbor’s cow. Salem nonsense from a constituency that thinks Dan Brown is a great novelist.

Simply being realistic and pragmatic marks a person as liberal or socialist. Or a Nazi.

Expecting the government to keep up entitlements like the Bush tax cuts, Medicare, Social Security or that the states  support services without raising taxes is different. Different indeed. American Infantile Entitlement Syndrome.

This was Sullivan’s summary:

What you have here is big babyism. After the worst downturn in memory, bequeathed a massive and growing debt, two failing wars, a financial sector threatening to bring down the entire economy, Obama has betrayed this person by preventing a Second Great Depression.

We will hear more of these non-sequiturs; the 24-hour news cycle prevents any memory past the last six months; the easy, lazy meme of Obama-the-lefty will be pressed home by FNC/RNC and the MSM will grab onto it because it’s a narrative they can understand and that helps insulate them from charges of bias. That none of this has any direct relationship with economic and political reality is barely relevant.

Tea-baggers, Palinites, ordinary “folk” who believe that if their fair share is dwindling than somehow the system has abandoned them and gone socialist. Americans have gone toddler. Look for it in the straight to DVD section soon.