Since my last post at the end of the Republican Convention. And what have we learned/discovered so far?
1. We learned that the McCain Campaign won't even try to cover up the shabby lies, half-truths and outright bullshit they're talking up in an effort to get elected at any cost. Most of this is to shield the Candidate's running mate, Governor Palin . She was all for lobbyists (Alaska's one of the biggest suckers at the public tit in the entire country) before she was against them, helped run the unutterably corrupt Ted Stevens' 527 before it became politically expedient of her to drop him like a hot brick, and spreads half-truths (the Governor's jet, the Governor's chef) like a landscaper spreads mulch.
She has a baby with Down's Syndrome, and my sympathies are with her and her family (one of my distant cousins has a developmental disorder), but she won't advocate stem-cell research - and neither will the GOP platform, which wrote in a truly draconian anti-abortion screed that gallops farther afield than their own presidential candidate's position on the matter.
Her eldest daughter is "in the family way," and that's a wonderful thing. However, it does sort of give the lie to all that "abstinence-only sex education" nonsense, doesn't it? And cutting state assistance to unwed teen mothers as Governor, Mrs. Palin, will only endear you further to the mass of pig-ignorant GOP al Qaeda.
(Remember, I'm Republican, and for better or worse I know my people.)
And we learned that McCain and his camp have an awfully short memory when it comes to their own assays at humor. Putting lipstick on a pig still makes it a pig. Now, that's no aspersion against Gov. Palin ; it harks back to what McCain said in October 2007 about Clinton's health care plan. And, to tell the plain and unvarnished truth the McCain Campaign is exactly that - the George W Bush Campaign with Lipstick On It.
More of the Same, Senator. From your tax policy to education to HIV to the economy, More of the Same.
And in the realm of foreign policy, you appear to be an impulsive gambler of the sort Bush never was. Bush basically bumbled around like Godzilla in a Quaalude haze; you, driven by a temper not fully reconciled with any lingeringPTSD, can place this country and the world in far more danger than even Cheney can envision.
And that's saying a lot.
2. We learned that Corporate Welfare (giving mammoth tax breaks to Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Banking, etc. etc.) also extends to Corporate Socialism as the Federal Government has placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship in order to protect them from collapsing under the weight of their bad debts.
How much bad debt? Oh, how about Five Trillion Dollars?
FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS.
That's a five with twelve zeroes behind it, a number so huge the mind has difficulty grasping it. Out of the entire world, only one country has more debt than Fannie and Freddie, and you guessed it - the United States.
On NPR's Marketplace last night a reporter asked representatives at a gathering of former finance ministers in Virginia what would have happened had the Feds not intervened. The former Italian Finance Minister put it dramatically: "Armageddon."
An American Treasury representative was a bit more detailed. See, the economy runs on credit, the ability to borrow money for cars, businesses, schools and the like. If Fannie and Freddie went under the banks (that includes global central banks) would be left holding all their debt, and would refuse to lend money. The global economy, in short, would grind to a halt.
(Um, Dark Wraith? I know I'm oversimplifying like nobody's business, but am I at least somewhat accurate in that?)
3. Apparently, starting up the Large Hadron Collider didn't herald the Apocalypse. Smashing protons together (as the scientists at CERN plan on doing) to recreate conditions that obtained a teeny fraction (about a trillionth) of a second after the Big Bang can help them continue their quest to discover the fundamental structure of the universe and how it got here.
I'm sure I don't know why the mouth-breathers are objecting that such a thing might bring about the end of the world - I thought they wanted it to end so that they could all be with Jesus up in a gated community subdivision country club version of Heaven.
4. I've decided on another two-stage vacation this year. I'll still be going to a resort hotel on the Gulf of Mexico for part of it (the sound of waves on sand had a profound impact on my humors), but I think I shall take in the bright lights of New York for part of the vacation as well. I haven't been up there in 35 years, so it'll be uplifting.