September 29th, 2008

turkey vultures

McCain -

Paul Krugman points out that McCain later admitted that he never even read the three page Paulsen plan that he so soundly renounced.  Can we really afford to allow this man to be president?   Perhaps the focus has been on Palin to distract us from how weak McCain really is.  McCain is a frightening man.

Op-Ed Columnist

The 3 A.M. Call

Published: September 28, 2008

It’s 3 a.m., a few months into 2009, and the phone in the White House rings. Several big hedge funds are about to fail, says the voice on the line, and there’s likely to be chaos when the market opens. Whom do you trust to take that call?

I’m not being melodramatic. The bailout plan released yesterday is a lot better than the proposal Henry Paulson first put out — sufficiently so to be worth passing. But it’s not what you’d actually call a good plan, and it won’t end the crisis. The odds are that the next president will have to deal with some major financial emergencies.

So what do we know about the readiness of the two men most likely to end up taking that call? Well, Barack Obama seems well informed and sensible about matters economic and financial. John McCain, on the other hand, scares me.


Collapse )

Pain and courage -

Op-Ed Columnist

The Most Dangerous Job on Earth

Published: September 28, 2008

Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s new president and the widower of Benazir Bhutto, does not mince words about the growing Taliban insurgency.

“It is my decision that we will go after them, we will free this country,” he told me in an interview. “Yes, this is my first priority because I will have no country otherwise. I will be president of what?”

After the massive bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, that’s a fair question. Its finances in a freefall, its security crumbling, nuclear-armed Pakistan stands at the brink just as a civilian takes charge after the futile zigzagging of Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s U.S.-supported rule.


Collapse )
barack obama

Explanation -

I do feel I've turned the corner on my Palin addiction and affliction, realizing we need to focus on McCain, and one can only take so much of her, and that pointing finger and fake smile, but I must admit to appreciating an article that helps explain where I've been the last month.
  I didn't know that Palin was calling those of us who disagree with her, "haters."   Also, when you click on Glenn Greenwald and watch the final video of Palin interviewed by Katie Couric, you realize that there is no way to satirize her.  Her comments on Russia are beyond relief.  This return to supposely the innocence of childhood with the opposed emphasis on drilling and killing doesn't work for me.  

Sarah Palin is ruining my life

I rant about her; I can't stop thinking about her; I cannot stand to look at her; I'm possessed by her!

by Cary Tennis

Dear Cary,

I am a Democrat, a mother of three, and a full-time attorney. During the primaries, I was torn between Hillary Clinton, who I believed had the experience to be president (and really, really, really wanted it), and Barack Obama, who I believed was not only highly capable (albeit less experienced), but also the more sincere of the two and who inspired me on an emotional level that Clinton did not. In addition, as my kind friends pointed out to me, Clinton was carrying a lot of baggage in terms of her own scandals, not to mention Bill's little problems. So, in the end, I did what my heart really wanted me to do all along and voted for Obama. And then I totally checked out of the election. I've always disliked the pettiness of politics, the lies, the mudslinging, the arguments over meaningless minutiae, the parsing of personalities ad infinitum, etc. My perspective was, short of Obama being caught on video strangling his children with his own two hands, he had my vote, and thus I had no need to pay attention to all the nonsense that would occur in both campaigns prior to the election.

And then came Sarah. My reaction to her, and the way the Republican Party threw her in our faces, and the pandering and hypocrisy that was behind their decision to do so, was immediate, visceral, and indeed, vicious. I have crossed every line I believed should never be crossed in public discourse -- I have criticized not only her policies and her record, but her hair, her personal style, her accent, her abilities as a mother, etc. I've also begun to suffer personally and professionally. I bore my friends with my constant tirades against her, and am constantly distracted from my work by my need to continually update myself on the latest criticism, and indeed, ridicule, of her. In my hatred for her, I have begun to hate myself.

I don't want this woman ruining my life before she even gets a chance to ruin our country. How do I stop? Is there a self-help group for this?

A "Hater"*

*As Sarah Palin calls all those who disagree with her (New York Times, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008)

Dear "Hater,"

I think what disturbs us about Sarah Palin is that she reminds us of the authoritarian personality. My guess is that she is also an ESFJ, or Extroverted Sensing Feeling Judging type, with a strong preference for sensing. Such a person prefers to acquire her knowledge from concrete objects and places instead of from abstract ideas. This would explain why she thinks being geographically close to Russia is a form of foreign policy expertise.


Collapse )

The shape this authoritarian has taken is the shape of the mother. We want to give Sarah Palin her due because she is a woman and a mother. A cynical trick has been played on us. She is a Trojan Horse.

Her refusal or inability to speak clearly also seems to devalue our own desire to speak clearly; if one does not speak clearly to you, then you cannot communicate with them; you are held off from them; you are excluded from their world. The only way to enter their world, therefore, is to follow them. There's no time for talk! Follow me! It's time to chase Putin out of our airspace! It's time to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

This is what frightens and angers us: The refusal to follow the rules of discourse, of language, even, implies that there is nothing to talk about. There is only action. There is only faith. There is only taking that hill.

This is my admittedly impressionistic take. Glenn Greenwald can talk about it much better than I can.