Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Synchrodestiny, Bitches

Yet another tip of the hat to David Rees, who cheered me up this morning and gave me an excuse to take the "Bradley Effect" off the top of the blog:

On election night, Rees was depressed. You may remember it--realizing that all it took for Bush & co. to stay in office while treating America and American ideals with contempt was to tell Americans how much he loved them and how much everybody else hated them. "You know how you're always regaining consciousness in the gutter with some liberal standing over you, asking if you're okay, trying to help you stand? Pretty suspicious, huh? That liberal probably put you there, dontcha think? Now me, I would never do that. Me, I'm standing innocent as can be directly above you, up there on the penthouse balcony with the broken guardrail. And I've waving as compassionately as hell with the hand not grasping your wallet and the college degree your kids will never get."

So, in his devastation, Rees wrote a piece of inspirational prose and credited it to Deepak Chopra:
We’re smarter than those motherfuckers.
We can learn more quickly than those motherfuckers.
We can be more ruthless than those motherfuckers.
We can be some six-million-dollar motherfuckers ourselves.

Chin up.
We’re more American than those motherfuckers.
We’re more responsible than those motherfuckers.
We’re more compassionate than those motherfuckers.
Hell, our atheists are more Christian than their Bible-thumpin’ motherfuckers.

There’s an election in two years.
There’s nothing we can’t do.

Chin up.
Because it’s on, motherfuckers.
It is on.

Now go canvas & call voters, you American motherfuckers.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Bradley Effect & Other Fears to Scare You at Night

The Bradley Effect is a term coined by scholar Charles Henry in his effort to explain why LA Mayor Tom Bradley was polling so well during the 1982 California gubernatorial race yet lost the actual election. Bradley, Henry concluded, was getting misleading information from the polls because he was black and because some white voters were really uncomfortable with two things: 1) voting for a black guy and 2) admitting they were uncomfortable with voting for a black guy.

So be encouraged by the latest polls, but don't let them make you complacent.

If you're not doing so already, an activity with a relatively high utility to awkwardness ratio is calling voters in swing states. You can sign up at My Barack Obama (worst political website nickname winner for 2008: myBO.com), which has a good system and relatively painless script for calling voters. You can do it in small chunks of spare time if necessary. I've been calling Ohio, and I don't think I've convinced anybody to vote for McCain.

If you actually live in a swing state, you have more choices. Knocking on doors is a big one. Helping the local Democrats organize voter turnout is another. Just do something practical.

Let's not give them any reason to rename it the Obama Effect.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Some of these People May Know How to Work a Voting Machine...

...so vote and call undecided voters. Knock on some doors if your state is at all up for grabs.

Link to the dumbery.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Even More Impressive...

So I was going to write post entitled, "STFU About Joe the Plumber." But that was pretty much all I had, so I was stuck on what to write about.

Then this came along:

This charming image comes courtesy of Diane Fidele, President of Chaffey Community Republican Women, a San Bernadino group not far from my new hometown. Fidele mailed it out to about two hundred people, including some of the group's members.

Sure, the image does call food stamps "Obamabucks." Sure, it does have a picture of Obama superimposed on a cartoon donkey at its center. Sure, it shows Obama surrounded by Kool-Aid, ribs, and watermelon. Sure it's a festival of racist stereotypes.

But that doesn't mean it's racist. As Fidele told a local newspaper: "I never connected. It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else."

I can see that.

I mean you wouldn't believe the flak I got from those panty-bunchers over at the Chinese-American Citizens Alliance when I launched my new drycleaning business two years ago: Chinky Slanteyes' SuperStarch Laundry--"We Wash You Rong Time!" Apparently, that's some kind of obscure ethnic slur. And I guess they weren't too happy with these really great pictures I had of buck-toothed coolies with huge ponytails. Just because I used canary yellow for the skin color or something.

Anyway, that killed my promising business. I hope things turn out fine for poor Fidele. Sounds like an honest mistake.

It's impressive that Fidele managed to Photoshop this without taking off her hood, but it's even more impressive she did it with her hooded head crammed that far up her colon.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You Keep Going, Girl!

In all the hurly-burly of America's best political and economic year ever, let's not forget about the lonely struggles of loyal reader Sarah P. of Wasilla, Alaska, who continues to be pestered by haters who are all like "ethics, laws, blah, blah, blah" when she's all like "Obama, terrorist, nig-- uh, terrorist, America, rah, rah, rah!"

America needs more rah-rah and less blah-blah, my friends. More rah, less blah. That's change you can trust.

Anyhow, the legal midgets in the Alaska Senate concluded that Sarah P. broke state ethics law by trying to get some guy fired just because he was like a total douche-cob to her sister Molly. First, like why even be governor if you can't shitcan guys who divorce your sister? Second, haven't people in Alaska heard about the "tainted investigation" defense, in which a defendant must be found innocent if he or she says that the prosecutor doesn't love him or her enough to be objective?

Fortunately, Sarah P. and her crack legal team know have been able to fall back on the "Nuh Uh" defense. The Nuh Uh defense was established by landmark Fantasy Court decisions in Bush v. National Intelligence Estimate and Bush v. Climate Change, in which Fantasy Court judges ruled that official or legal findings must be declared null and void if the person inconvenienced by them pinky-swears that those findings seriously didn't happen and then refuses to talk about the findings ever again (starts about 1:20):

As always, we'll keep you updated like all get-out on this one, America.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Katie Couric = Matt Taibbi

At least when the economy doesn't seem to be collapsing around our ears, right-wing politicos and think-tankers in this country generally brand any concern with economic justice "class warfare." It is, you see, un-American and divisive to worry that 1% of the country controls 40% of its wealth and that the income of that top 1% grew 180% from 1979-2004, whereas the income of the bottom 20% grew about 10% over the same period (see p. 5 of "Is the American Dream...").

But those same politicos and tankers seem to have no objection to cultural warfare. It's totally cool to act as though a tiny percentage of Americans control 95% of the nation's--nay the world's--virtue. See, whereas it's divisive to tell poor people that they're getting the short end of the stick, it's just not a big deal to tell liberals that they're unpatriotic and/or tipped for everlasting torment.

For some obscure reason, I've been thinking about The Titanic lately. And gosh darn if a little old Alaska common sense doesn't tell me that we seem finally to have reached the iceberg-intensive portion of the journey at which the folks in first-class are sending stewards down to steerage to tell us, "Hey, hey, why so reproachful? I mean, we're all in the same boat here, folks."

Then they add, "So all you peons should stay here while the boat sinks because there aren't enough lifeboats for everybody."

Anyway, that's all a long-winded and indirect intro to a relatively brief point.

To wit: political life in this country is increasingly a weird game in which a tiny majority holds power over a large majority while insisting that the people in that ruling minority are coextensive with some vague populist majority. And that creates all kinds of conceptual weirdness.

In particular, I'm struck lately by how the McCain-Palin campaign--especially Palin--simultaneously insists that its candidates know what mainstream Americans really want at the same time that it claims that the "mainstream media" are out of touch with mainstream America.

But if the media really are "mainstream," then wouldn't that mean they're in touch with mainstream America? And if McCain and Palin mean "left-wing" media rather than "mainstream," why don't they say that? Surely they don't want to imply that mainstream America is left-wing?

Is it because if McCain and Palin were actually to say "left-wing" rather than just hint it, they'd have to explicitly accuse Katie Couric of being the hatchet-woman of the liberal media elite and they know that would sound more than a little loopy?

Or (and) is it because they're trying really hard to appeal to groups--especially fundamentalist Christians--whose very identity since at least the 1970s has come in large part from positioning themselves as an embattled, even oppressed, minority in the current, decaying America, although they see themselves the dominant majority of real Americans?

In memoriam Might Magazine: "Katie Couric = Matt Taibbi = GAY!"

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oh, Right, Real Issues... Yeah...

Found this via David Rees' blog and felt an unaccustomed moment of optimism and gratitude. It's Richard Trumka from the AFL-CIO talking about race and union voters in this year's election:

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