Friday, September 19, 2008

Notes From The Bed

So I've been laid up on bed rest since Tuesday after having undergone an operation to fix some veins in my lower abdomen. It's made it very difficult to walk and even stand for extended amounts of time. This op along with my doses of roxicet (a.k.a. percocet, and no they are NOT for sell) has given me nothing but time to be tuned into CNN, MSNBC and the web for non-stop election coverage, and holy crap did I pick a week to be out of it.

Our economy seems to be crumbling one brick at a time and the crazy thing is it seemed to be perfectly timed for Pres Bush's exit so he doesn't have to deal with any of it. From my vantage point Sen. McCain seems to be flailing as the topic of discussion is yanked away from the GOP talking points of faux outrage and accusations, which got them the lead in the national polls, to something real and concerning for the average American. While dealing with this quick moving crisis should be a bi-partisan thing, it's an election year so unfortunately it will be politicized no matter how much both campaigns swear it's not.

McCain, in his addresses all week, seem to try his hardest to link this crisis to Obama, saying that it's his fault, along with lobbyist and greedy investors. Here's the problem with that charge, and if you are an average person you should be able to see this for yourself, McCain's campaign is being run by lobbyist (including Phil "Nation of Whiners" Grahm) AND, in McCain's own words, Obama hasn't been in Washington that long to even contribute to it.

As astonishing as it seems, McCain flip-flopped-flipped this week. First he said he's against regulation (calling himself a fundamental deregulator) and blames this crisis on an "alphabet soup" of regulation bureaucracy, then calls for a new committee called the MFI and calls for tougher regulation, then goes back and says he's still for deregulation and less government...even as government has had to take over 3 institutions in a week. If THIS is not BIG government, something that McCain is against, I don't know what is! McCain has even said he'd fire the SEC chairman (something a President can't do) as if that would help quell this hellfire. If this week hasn't convinced people that McCain isn't that strong of a candidate when it comes to being forced to deal with a real issue, then I don't know what else you need to see.

For his part, Obama has decided to kind of play the background and wait for the FED chairman and other economic players to come up with a plan before he puts his own plan out there. This could help and hurt Obama depending on what side of the vote you're on. One way of looking at this is Obama is hesitant to make a mistake and is not taking effective leadership on the issue, which would turn you off. The other way is Obama is showing he has the temperament and the coolness needed to lead in a time of peril; that he can sit back and listen to his advisors and experts and make informed decisions. Which ever side of the argument you're on, I would hope you could agree that either is better than McCain's flying off the handle and foaming at the mouth diatribes about how this is Obama's fault and that's that.

For the week, I'd have to give Obama a B+ and McCain a D.

I think Obama, while being level headed and calculating, could have taken stance that's a bit more forceful. He's certainly projecting a very presidential image, especially this morning as he was flanked by his economic advisors at his Florida press conference.

McCain's blame game and flip-flops can be summed up in two words: economy fail. You cannot rail against the bail-outs, then agree with them, then say they wouldn't have happened if you were president. You cannot say someone hasn't been in Washington long enough to have experience, then blame a crisis on said someone who wasn't there for setting laws that have lead to this crisis. You cannot place blame on lobbyist and the "good ole boys" when lobbyist and good ole boys run and are the primary contributors to your campaign. You cannot call for smaller government then agree with bailouts that are only expanding government to an enormous size. Finally, don't rail against deregulation and offer some regulation when you support deregulation and you're top economic advisor pushed through bills for deregulation.


Secondly, and more mind blowingly, this whole Troopergate scandal really truly should be enough to sink the GOP ticket. Let's examine this shall we?

First, Gov Sarah Palin said "hold me accountable". She said she had nothing to hide and her administration welcomes the investigation. Fast forward to now and that same Gov Sarah Palin is STALLING the investigation, effectively KILLING it until after the election. Last Friday 12 people from Palin's cabinet and her husband Todd Palin were issued subpoenas to testify for the investigation. A week later today, we have all 12 people refusing to comply with those subpoenas citing executive privilege along with private citizen Todd Palin.

Firstly, those 12 administration workers cannot be held in contempt of the Alaska congress until they reconvene, which won't be until January. That means we will not find out if Gov. Sarah Palin is indeed a criminal in illegally having someone fired until after the election and well into sometime next year. IF this country is to doom itself and actually vote these people in office, we will NEVER find out what really happened.

Secondly (and please excuse the caps but they are needed for this point) HOW IN THE HELL IN THIS LIFE CAN A PRIVATE CITIZEN REFUSE TO COMPLY WITH A GOVERNMENT SUBPOENA AND NOT BE ARRESTED!?!?!?!?! No seriously, how is it possible that Todd Palin, who holds no office and has no executive power, get off the hook for testifying in a government investigation? WOW. If that's not a swift kick in the pants with a shit-stained steel toed boot, then tense up for and additional swing. The "First Dude" won't even show up to claim his non-existent executive privilege. If this isn't the first inclination that we'll have Dick Chaney Pt. 2: Electric Boogaloo in the VP office I don't know what is.

This whole troopergate situation is a sign, and if this country doesn't heed it then the US deserves whatever it gets. Only in America can a politician be corrupt in front of your eyes and lie to your face and still get almost 50% of the vote because you'd like to have a beer with them.

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