Commenting on Cynicism

LK here.  The following comment, received shortly after I posted my “Cynicism” piece earlier today, warrants better placement than hidden beneath my own post.  It fleshes out the Corker situation and goes on to provide legislative suggestions to plug a leak in the anti-corruption dam.

Even though I made it clear that I believe it’s a national change of attitude, not individual pieces of legislation, that can put us back on track, this piece demands reading and as such, belongs on the front page.

It’s author, who goes by the pen name “Oscar the Observer”,  is a brilliant attorney, but despite that, he’s also a brilliant thinker and a wonderful man who cares about our nation’s future.

The contributions to his campaign were negligible, but it was clear (from the article) that his very, very close friend owns 1100 payday lenders. There is a culture of corruption in Congress, for sure. It’s evidenced every day. Corker at first denied that he was trying to negotiate (with Dodd) an exclusion for payday lenders from the bill. And there’s a Congressional culture of falsely (or at least inaccurately or incompletely) characterizing support or resistance to legislation, from the electorate, as empirical facts.

The NY Times also reported, earlier this month, or at the end of February, that the GOP leaders went to Wall Street to get campaign contributions to the party, and were somewhat rebuffed. Then Mitch McConnell and Boehner visited Wall Street, and received commitments for GOP campaign contributions. Want to speculate on what they traded for the dollars? Watch whether ANY Republican will vote for the bill reported out of Dodd’s committee. And the Democrats who heavily rely on Wall Street contributions will also vote against it. Cynicism? It’s too mild a term. “Disgust” is much closer to the truth.

We can reduce the disgust by passing legislation that forbids any Representative or Senator from being a lobbyist, directly or indirectly, for 10 years after he/she leaves office and legislation that prevents votes or appointments by one legislator (the Bunning/Shelby ploy) or by less than a majority of the Senate; and a constitutional amendment that: (i) increases the terms of Representatives to 4 years, (ii) caps Senators’ terms at 12 or 18 years, (iii) creates an independent panel to establish congressional districts, so that Democrats are not always re-elected to the House from Democrat-gerrymandered districts and Republicans from Republican-gerrymandered districts or the same legislators automatically winning their primaries and elections in their districts, and (iv) makes the McCain-Feingold provisions constitutional.

But the legislators creating the cynicism and disgust are not interested in any of the above, because the mantra of Congress is “Don’t vote against your own self-interest; just tell the public that they don’t want it and don’t support those changes, because if you say that long enough and loud enough it brainwashes a majority of voters.”

Time Is Of The Essence: Two Minute Warning

The Obama campaign should be thanking its lucky stars that Election Day is Tuesday, and that early voting has drawn large crowds whose ballots are already in the books.

If the election was held a week later, or even this coming Friday, O’s chances of being elected, which look pretty good right now, would diminish substantially.

Let me explain.

Readers know that I have a twisted fondness for right-wing radio, as the hosts have mastered the medium of the airwaves to a degree that their left-wing counterparts can’t approach, both in terms of entertainment value and effective propaganda delivery. But they’re getting so over the top vile that I can’t take anything but small doses during these closing days of the campaign.

However, yesterday I heard Monica Crowley, a nationally syndicated Westwood One host, put together what can only be described as a very effective summation to the jury as to why Obama would be a dangerous choice. Interweaving innuendo, half-truths, and a sprinkling of hard facts to keep her presentation credible, she made me, an active Obama supporter, question, if but for a split second, my own commitment.

And if I was one of the undecideds, or taking a courageous leap of faith towards Obama, her argument might have pulled me back, convincing me that a decaying terra firma would be more to my liking than the possibility of a leap onto a promising but unknown landscape.

The extra hour I gained this morning as the clocks were turned back here on the east coast is also an extra hour that the McCain campaign and its surrogates have to throw as many Hail Marys as possible before time expires.

Hopefully, John McCain’s no Doug Flutie.

Don’t Think Outside The Box, Destroy It!

Check out the new LK video below and look for future LK Rants on our YouTube channel.

Poll: Who is to blame for the bailout failing to pass?

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Pre-Game Show

An astute observer of the political scene asked for my gut feeling(s) on the upcoming debate:

McCain will try to swash buckle through on bluster and what little substance he’s been force fed.  The bar is low, so he may appear surprisingly competent.
Obama (forgive me, please) has to channel Hillary’s tenacity.
They are both running on fumes and schedule tumult, but Presidents have to do that.
Part of it depends on whether Lehrer forces them to answer on point.
If that happens, O wipes the floor with Mac.
The more latitude Lehrer gives them, the better chance Mac has.
My gut thinks Mac will pull a very ugly rabbit out of a very ugly hat.
I hope I’m wrong.

Passports and Prayers

John McCain has now squandered the good will that has, up until now, been extended to him by members of both parties in deference to the strength of character he displayed while enduring his stay at the Hanoi Hilton.

His last gasp attempt to revive his campaign, at the expense of tens of millions of Americans, whose jobs and ways of life are being put in jeopardy by McCain injecting his economically challenged self into a process that was grinding its way towards resolution, is shameless.

He’s reduced himself from war hero and maverick to just another politician. Quite the fall from grace.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, in her interview with Katie Couric, reveals herself to be a well put together, losing contestant in “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?”.

Choosing her to be his vice-presidential nominee, one senile heartbeat away from the presidency, is a display of McCain’s frighteningly poor executive decision making. One can only hope that, should he be elected, he won’t be able to remember the activation codes for the nukes.

No doubt Karl Rove still has a number of tricks up his sleeve. At this point, a nation that buys into Rasputin’s dark magic deserves the even darker fate they’ve been sold.

If the voters haven’t wised up, after 8 years of witnessing and suffering from the decimation of the American dream brought on by Rove and crew (including Bush, who was the kid who’d make the beer and smoke runs before they made him President), we’re in a sorry state that may well require passports and prayers.

If I Ran O’s Campaign

Democrats have been ineffective in their attempts to link John McCain with Dubya.  Bush has faded from the scene like someone in the process of being transported in a Star Trek episode, gradually dissipating in front of our very eyes. Houdini couldn’t have pulled off a defter trick.

Job 1 is to retrieve him; make him solid. Attack him mercilessly for the 8 years of economic failure, foreign and domestic policy failure, Katrina failure, and the undeniable fact that if someone had the proactive intention of causing the decline of the American brand and experience, they couldn’t have gotten the ball rolling better than Bush and his cronies did.

Bring him back on stage. If he’s not front and center, you can’t link McCain with him, because he’s simply not there to be linked to. Also, don’t waste your breathe attacking McCain as being a Bush clone until this has happened.

And don’t worry about wasting 3 or 4 days of leaving McCain alone. If Palin can be a round the clock target/distraction, the time spent on Bush will at least be well spent. Let’s look at it as necessary prep time.

Then, and only then, can Bush and McCain become the McBush that seemed, until recently, destined to go down in flames in a November bonfire.

Good Company, or Good Compatriots?

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In the Spirit of Katherine Harris…

This time, Florida’s not bothering to wait until election day to upset the apple cart.

Check the following three links for the latest on how the state, clearly seen as being up for grabs, has decided, at the last minute, to enforce legislation that will inhibit the registration of young and black voters, clearly groups that skew in Senator Obama’s direction:

The rules, which were ostensibly enacted to level the playing field, are being strictly enforced in a time sensitive, selective manner (like parking tickets during quota season) for reasons that run counter to their original intent. Although I can’t imagine how Obama Central could not be aware of the above, their lack of visibility in the legal wrangling and their apparent ineffectiveness if, in fact, they were involved, makes it worth my time and yours to bring the above to the attention of Obama’s campaign HQ in Chicago.


Stupid

It’s the economy, stupid, but that’s not all it is:

Just reported: 450,000+ new jobless claims, stupid.

There’s a 50/50 chance of another rate cut in December, making the dollar worth even less than it is now to the rest of the world. Monopoly money backed by the full faith and credit of the US government, which isn’t saying a lot lately, stupid.

The Chinese, who have been propping up our economy by buying our T-Bills, so that we can buy WalMartian goods from them, are probably losing a bit of patience, stupid.

It’s not the lipstick, whether on a pig or a pit bull, stupid.

It’s your future, it’s your kid’s future, and it’s their kid’s future, stupid.

It’s THE future, stupid.

Start paying attention, or pay the price for insisting on remaining…stupid.

That old definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result, applies directly to the upcoming election.

Obama may be an X factor in certain respects, but McPalin have all their cards on the table and it’s the same losing hand that got us here. If this country chooses a comfortable demise over an uncertain but plausible opportunity, then the American spirit is gone.

Stupid.