Friday, September 5, 2008

Let the campaign begin in earnest

I have taken the last couple of weeks off from blogging, deliberately allowing the two political conventions pass without posting anything. I watched quite a bit of the Democratic Convention: I really liked Ted Kennedy's appearance, a strong declaration of the viability of liberalism by its roaring lion; I didn't much care for Michelle Obama's speech, though I thought she did it well: She had to assure people that she was no radical anti-American monster, but a mom, a sister, a daughter, a proud and loyal American; Joe Biden was, well, typically Biden; I did not like Barack Obama's speech, and was surprised at the positive spin put on it by commentators and media outlets.

I watched next to nil of the Republican Convention: even Mel Martinez got me sick with the clap-trap about The US being a bastion and a beacon, as if nothing is wrong with the nation after eight years of a disastrous Republican administration; Cindi McCain is amazing ugly, with her peroxide hair not well coiffed, her makeup as thick as if thrown on with a trowel, her eyes lost in the very dark mascara and eye liner she must use by the bucket; I watched John McCain for ten seconds, then for another fifteen seconds, and gave up after hearing the line about for the crowd that puts country second and does noting, I got news for you: change is coming.

Plu-eeze! He pandered to the right wing by selecting an anti-abortion, pro-gun amateur who two years ago was the mayor of a city of 6,000 people, and declared her ready to be Vice-President of the US. She, in her turn, declared that such a mayoralty is valuable executive experience. This woman has been out of the US twice in her life, as I read it, one of those trips being to Canada, which for someone from Alaska is almost accidental. Vice-President?

She's a woman with five kids, runs, wears lipsticks, and declares herself the enemy of the status quo, the propagator of change, whose experience is better, deeper and more important than Senator Obama's (get this line: being a mayor of a city of 6,000 is about the same as being a community organizer, except that a mayor has actual responsibility).

As lightweight as she is, and she is, the Democrats had better be careful about pouding on her, lest she begin to get sympathy support. She is already getting some support from some women who think that the fact of a woman on the ticket is as important, and perhaps evern more so, than her values, her political beliefs, her policies and judgment. How a woman who supported Hillary Clinton can switch over and support Sarah Palin boggles my mind. Senator Clinton is a liberal; Governor Palin is a right-wing Republican. Gender can not possibly be the deciding factor.

So there is plenty of activity to come during the general campaign. Today the economic numbers announced were quite negative: unemployment, at 6.1%, is the highest in five years. That graph shows the unemployment rate for the last twelve months. The stock market is in the tank: the Dow is at 11,194, down 16% in one year; the S&P is at 1236, down 16% in one year. Ugly numbers.

Ugly numbers? CAF is below $30. Below thirty! O, excuse me, it has ticked up to 30.05; mustn't overstate the matter.

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