vendredi 5 septembre 2008

Barbie in Nixonland


Today they came and cleaned up everything they chipped off. It makes for a lot of mess to haul away in their flatbed truck.

Monday, the scaffolding goes up along the street, and they begin that facade.

It suddenly looks a lot like progress, soon the plaster will fall.

The RNC 2008

Tuesday evening: prosperity

I have been forcing myself to watch the speeches from the RNC on and YouTube. I have so much to say, but I have exhausted my brain and my fingers on the MYBO boards.

My favorite Republican convention mo(I can't even type anymore; my fingers are stumbling on the keyboard)ment so far was the night Sarah Palin spoke (wasn't she something? I was just so proud of Bush's speech writers and how she delivered that speech! Such poise! Such diction! Such sarcasm!). That was the prosperity theme night, the evening all the minority entrepreneurs spoke.

They brought out a brown, I mean an Hispanic man, and he told an eager convention floor filled with Republicans -- young and old, white and white (okay, there are a few blacks, like Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams), manipulator and manipulated, ignorant and ignoranter -- that his father, a migrant worker who had no education beyond the 4th grade, could teach "Obama", (whistles) with his "fancy schools" (crowd cheers), a "thing or two about economics" (crowd roars their approval) because he'd done "real work with his hands (pregnant pause... oops! No reference whatsoever to pregnant teens) in the dirt," (crowd goes crazy) and "Obama's gonna' raise our taxes!" (crows goes crazier) A proud lackey for the McCains of the world with their wealth valued in the tens of millions and more, who have never worked with their own hands in the dirt.

It's the world upside down.

I didn't know migrant workers and the poor paid taxes, but they sure might like the health care benefits they could get if the wealthiest and the corporations paid a decent share.


A case in point: William McGuire
HealthUnited Group's now retired CEO

Someone else used different numbers but made the following argument: 38% in taxes of the average CEO pay of $10.2 million in 2004 still leaves $6.3 million in take home pay to suffer through the year until the next $10.2 million rolls in.

But even that's chicken feed compared to the high-end of CEO salaries cited in the same article, where "The highest-paid CEO in 2004 was Yahoo's Terry Semel, who hauled in $230.6 million. That's more than $4 million a week."

The third highest paid CEO was in health care, "William McGuire, of UnitedHealth Groups, the nation's leading insurer, was the third-highest paid CEO on the Forbes list. His pay of $124.8 million could cover the average health-insurance premiums of nearly 34,000 people."

As Spoon of SiCKO Universal Health Care HR 676 (join us) on the MYBO boards replied:

That doesn't include the $1.6 billion in stock options he was given when he retired, or the hundreds of millions in options he'd already cashed in, or the rest of his retirement package. Or the fact that the head of Medicare and Medicaid administers a LOT larger and sicker group for around $200,000 per year (no stock options). The last I checked, The UnitedHealth Group stock was up over 900% since Bush took office... these guys make our oil barons and military industrial giants look like chump changers.

Nice. Welcome to the You ESS-AY!! At least we're not (gasp) socialists.

And these Republican sheep from small town YOU ESS-AY!! are only too happy to chant their national pride -- YOU ESS-AY!! YOU ESS-AY!! YOU ESS-AY!! -- ecstatically against closing the corporate tax loop-holes -- YOU ESS-AY!! --, eliminating death taxes and the alternate minimum tax -- YOU ESS-AY!! YOU ESS-AY!! -- to provide themselves and their neighbors with health care as good and with as much freedom of choice as the French enjoy, preferring to scrimp to fill the gas tank and the oil tank for the winter's heating and do without health care benefits, while their leadership rolls in obscene, but surely well-deserved, wealth.

And her outfit cost...

I owe a reader of Vanity Fair a debt for this information. According to their report, we now have an idea of Laura Bush and Cindy McCain's vestimentary budget for Monday evening's attire at the RNC, and as she says, "I don't know about you, but I could pay 2 months of my mortgage on Laura's alone, and that's based on the LOW estimate":

Laura Bush

Oscar de la Renta suit: $2,500
Stuart Weitzman heels: $325
Pearl stud earrings: $600 - $1,500

Total: $3,425 - $4,325

Cindy McCain

Oscar de la Renta dress (did they shop the sales together?): $3,000
Chanel J12 white ceramic watch: $4,500
Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000 (I accidentally typed $28,000 the first time, had a hard time getting the extra zero in there and the comma in the right place)
Four-strand peral necklace: $11,000 - $25,000
Taryn Rose shoes: $475

Total: $299,100 - $313,100

I could pay off my mortgage with that.

Yeah, I'd rather worship the wealthy than live decently, too. (crowd and son of Hispanic migrant worker with 4th grade education lose all control, ecstatic)

One word: resentment

For the Republicans' breath-taking ability to turn the world on its head for their own gain (and more gain, and more gain) without loosing sleep, Paul Krugman provided a one-word analysis in his OpEd in the NYTimes yesterday, resentment. From the column:

Some of it, of course, is driven by cultural and religious conflict: fundamentalist Christians are sincerely dismayed by Roe v. Wade and evolution in the curriculum. What struck me as I watched the convention speeches, however, is how much of the anger on the right is based not on the claim that Democrats have done bad things, but on the perception — generally based on no evidence whatsoever — that Democrats look down their noses at regular people.

Thus Mr. Giuliani asserted that Wasilla, Alaska, isn’t “flashy enough” for Mr. Obama, who never said any such thing. And Ms. Palin asserted that Democrats “look down” on small-town mayors — again, without any evidence.

What the G.O.P. is selling, in other words, is the pure politics of resentment; you’re supposed to vote Republican to stick it to an elite that thinks it’s better than you. Or to put it another way, the G.O.P. is still the party of Nixon.


What you can do

(besides get mad and worry)

Have you talked to a disappointed Republican or an Independent today? Happily, they have an option, Obama/Biden 08!

Sign up on to make your profile and find out how to call Swing States for the campaign from home.

And from Alex Koppelman at

War Room

The Sarah Palin money bomb

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Sarah Palin's speech to the Republican convention really seems to have energized people. Including Democrats, it turns out -- Barack Obama's campaign says that since Palin's speech, it has taken in $8 million, and the Obama camp estimates that number will hit $10 million by the time John McCain addresses the convention tonight.

The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, has reportedly raised $1 million in the same time period. And a McCain source told the Drudge Report, "We could not count our donations fast enough." (The McCain campaign is now restricted from raising its own money, as McCain accepted public financing.)

Give. Give often, give regularly, give what you can -- Click here for my fundraising page on

Hey! Someone made a contribution! The campaign used to let us know so we could thank the donor, but it didn't this time. Whoever you are, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Gotta' get to the supermarket before they close, or I am going to be very embarrassed this evening.

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