Monday, October 6, 2008


Hola! Everybody…
I’ve stopped watching baseball. The only way I could see myself watching the World Series is if Ramirez and the Dodgers would meet the Red Sux with Ramirez exacting a measure of revenge… LOL

On another note, I say we pass a law that disallows Sarah Palin from using the word “maverick” or from winking unless she’s blowing Stiffy.

* * *

-=[ The Myths we Live By ]=-

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is.”

-- Sir Winston Churchill

I enjoy the political season because I am a seeker of truth and nowhere is truth mangled as it is in the lust for power. One can make a cynical claim that both the Obama and McCain campaigns have maligned the “truth” and be on solid ground. However, as Mr. Churchill would have it, there is a there there.

I’ve been slumming around reading what passes for political opinion around here and elsewhere and I am struck mostly by the lack of insight by Americans. It seems to me that the strategy adopted by many Americans is eerily similar to the same strategies adopted by ostriches when faced with crisis. I have spoken with “foreigners” better versed in our politics than some of our citizens. And… in many cases it has nothing to do with intelligence or lack thereof! I know some pretty smart people who have sipped the Kool Aid.

For example, there’s the bullshite canard about experience. I’ve heard people fling mud at the Obama camp because their supporters deride Sarah Palin’s lack of experience.


Is there anyone left in the world that still thinks that Sarah Palin -- the very same woman who refused to answer debate questions and can’t name a single Supreme Court case let alone a newspaper she reads regularly -- is there anyone left that thinks she’s prepared for the second most powerful office in the known universe?

The experience question vis-à-vis Obama vs. Palin is a non-issue, as far I am concerned (as it is for the overwhelming majority of Americans to their credit). Even if she weren’t a clueless idiot, what does being mayor of some backwoods town have to do with leadership on issues that span national and international concerns?


Let’s get this straight: I see more people everyday than live in Wasilla. Wait! I slept at a Holiday Inn last night! Wait! I can see a library from my window. I must be smart. Apparently, there are people still left in this country who would vote for Palin, in the process giving credence the old cynical saw that it’s a sin to allow a fool to keep his money (or his or her vote).

Then there is the issue of who’s been more responsible for the current economic mess. McCain, who likes to be called a “maverick” (just ask Palin), has been on the forefront of a conservative movement that has dismantled government oversight for the last quarter century. It was in July, I believe, that an article written on McCain appeared extolling the virtues of deregulation. Again, there are few people around (except for conservative trickle-down voodoo doctors) that would argue that dismantling government and effectively defangling government oversight doesn’t result in some ::ahem:: problems.

But there’s a specific charge being thrown around by the McCain camp: that Obama is somehow tied to the failed Fannie and Freddie Macs. According to the McCain attack ad, “Obama has no background in economics. Who advises him? The Post says it’s Franklin Raines, for ‘advice on mortgage and housing policy.’ Shocking. Under Raines, Fannie Mae committed “extensive financial fraud.” Raines made millions. Fannie Mae collapsed.”

The truth? Because the story had become a campaign issue the reporter of the source, Anita Huslin, was asked to provide the exact circumstances of the quote. She explained that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked, “if he was engaged at all with the Democrats’ quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said “Oh, general housing, economy issues.” “Not mortgage/ foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific,” I asked, and he said, “No.”

By Raines’s own account, he took a couple of calls from someone on the Obama campaign, and they had some general discussions about economic issues.

McCain, on the other hand, has undeniable connections, not just to the formation of the principles of our economic foundations (which he called “sound”), but to the whole Fannie Mae issue. John McCain’s campaign managers lobbying firm was receiving monthly payments from giant mortgage company (now Federal bailout beneficiary) Fannie Mae as recently as one month ago. It’s known Rick Davis’ company had a relationship with Fannie Mae called the Homeownership Alliance, an advocacy group chartered with the development of law favorable to broader mortgaging practices (gee, I wonder how that turned out)

Davis approached Fannie Mae after the termination of the Homeownership Alliance and asked for a continued consulting role with the mortgage firm. As reported in Newsweek:

“Since 2006, the federally sponsored mortgage giant Freddie Mac has paid at least $345,000 to the lobbying and consulting firm of John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement...

McCain and his aides have vehemently objected to suggestions that Davis has ties to Freddie Mac—an especially sensitive issue given that the Republican presidential candidate has blamed “the lobbyists, politicians and bureaucrats” for the mortgage crisis that recently prompted the Bush administration to take over both Freddie Mac and its companion, Fannie Mae, and put them under federal conservatorship.

This undoubtedly puts McCain in a rather embarrassing situation. During a recent “60 Minutes” segment, McCain denied Mr. Davis had any involvement with the Fannie Mae group. Either McCain is unaware of Mr. Davis extracurricular activities or deliberately misleading American voters.

Then there’s the way he [mis]handled the current economic meltdown. He said that he would postpone his campaign in order to save the country. Yet it took him 23 hours to get from NYC to DC. Now, I travel to DC a lot, and it has never taken me 23 hours. Also, phone calls to various McCain campaign headquarters discovered that the campaign was never suspended.

These are merely three issues that are running around as facts in the American political landscape. Otherwise smart people are clinging to these myths, but I am not surprised McCain, until very recently, has been given a free ride by an adoring press. That free ride has led to the formation of the Myth of McCain. Specifically it has led to the belief that:

  • McCain is a maverick
  • McCain is a moderate
  • McCain is a “straight talker”
  • McCain is a reformer
  • McCain doesn’t do things just because they’re politically expedient.
  • McCain has too much integrity to use his war record to his political advantage

During the coming days, I will offer documentation refuting all of the above, because no matter how cynical you become, the truth is always there to bite you in the arse.



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