Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mom to McCain: If You were Counting on My Baby to Fight Your Wars, "You Can't Have Him"

Great wailing and gnashing of teeth has arisen, in response to the above Ad, which engages the centerpiece of John McCain's politics.

Papa Bear O'Reilly, for example, had this to say about it.

In his own mind, O'Reilly really nails it here:

My question is this: Who on earth would take that message seriously? What kind of voter is that supposed to reach?

Good point indeed, Papa Bear. Harrogate has stressed his brain to the outermost limits, and he has yet to come up with a relevant or identifiable audience for such an ad. Nothing to see here. Keep 'moving on.'

UPDATE: Just found this little entry on the Ad by Townhall blogger Carol Platt Liebau.

Her condemnation is almost as indisputable as Papa Bear's:

no mother wants to think of her son (or daughter) going off to war. But has it occurred to Alex's mommy that -- if other mothers had adopted her "not my baby" attitude -- little Alex might be in much more jeopardy from terrorist attacks right here in the United States of America? Or for that matter, he might be speaking German . . . or even be an English subject?

Too pathetic for words.

Weeellllll. There's no arguing with that logic. The Ever-Mounting body counts are Noble, Necessary to American Safety.

The Ad is too pathetic for Words.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When the Culture Wars and the Free market Collide

Over at The Washington Post, Rob Stein discusses the development of Pro-Life Pharmacies, i.e. no condoms, birth control pills, or Plan B emergency contraceptives. This type of pharmacy protects the rights of workers, especially their "right of conscience" to refuse to engage in an activity to which they morally oppose.

In defense of these pharmacies, pharmacies may have the right to attempt to protect the rights of their workers, if you agree that this constitutes right, and to tailor their business to a particular audience. Further, this seems seems similar to pharmacies that refuse to sell cigarettes, alcohol, or pornography.

Of course, these locations seems to exceed their authority as pharmacists. It seems that the pharmacists at these locations act as "doctor" and "pharmacist," where they know what is best for their "patient." It would be a problem in other industries if individuals put their beliefs ahead of their profession. Just ask conservatives students about their "liberal" professors. Further, like the insurance industry, there may be another double-standard here whereby these pharmacies allow for Viagra but not for contraceptive for women, regardless as to whether or not it is for reproductive freedom.

Finally, there may be a concern over the way in which the stores treat individuals when they enter the pharmacies seeking specific products. It is probably not best for business to ask for contraceptives and told you are a baby-killer. It could be much worse is the person went in the store for Plan B.

The main concern would be if these pharmacies becomes successful, especially in rural areas where there are fewer or no alternatives. If there are no alternatives to these pharmacies, then these locations infringe on the medical rights of citizens. This is just a slippery slope argument right now though...

A New Special Interest Group

Children Against Universal Health Care. Factually, it may be the most accurate argument I've come across in quite some time.

Study: Most Children Strongly Opposed To Children�s Healthcare

All things Canadian

In about 7 weeks, C, Wild Man, and I will be moving to Canada, as C has accepted a tenure track position at a Canadian University. I know surprisingly little about Canadian politics or government, so I've been taking a few minutes every day to read up on such things. This morning I decided to look at the Prime Minister's web page. I know from a few things I've read and from the members of C's department I've spoken to that Stephen Harper is known in Ontario, the province we're moving to, as "Little Bush"--not exactly a compliment in my book. Imagine my surprise to discover that Mr. Harper looks a bit like G.W. himself! What are we getting ourselves into?

Oh well, at least Harper occasionally apologize for his blunders. . .

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yes We Have No Bananas...or Maybe We Shouldn't

My daughter loves bananas. She eats a lot of bananas: bananas in the morning; bananas in the afternoon; bananas in the evening. Sometimes she eats bananas before dinner to ease the pain while dinner is cooking; and, sometimes, she eats a banana after dinner if she dislikes what she received.

Usually, by 6am, she has already consumed her first banana of the day, even before Morning Joe is on the air. Every morning she walks into the kitchen, mutters an "Ummmmmm" or "Uhhhhhhhhh" or "Ughhhhhhhh" right in front of where the bananas hang. If she does not receive one in the first five seconds that she asks, it becomes a gentle scream... well, no scream is gentle at 5:45am. Even if she cannot see the bananas or if we move them to another location, she finds them and requires one for her dinning pleasure. Needless to say, we must stock bananas in our apartment. Always.

In case your wondering about the purpose of the post, an Op-Ed in The New York Times discusses the price increase we will face for our cheapest fruit, as well as discussing the role of bananas in our markets, in developing the infrastructures of Central American nations, in shaping and overthrowing governments, and in diminishing the rights of workers under those governments. The end of the article suggests that we may not have bananas as a regular fruit for very long....and, if that day comes, I do not know what I will do each morning...

And for your listening pleasure, The Velvet Underground:
"Sunday Morning"
"I'm Waiting for the Man"
"Venus in Furs"
"Run Run Run"
"Sweet Jane (Live)"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Conservative Identity Politics

While we have discussed identity politics in relation to the Democrats, here is another reminder of how Conservatives attempt to engage voters with identity politics and employ the Southern Strategy. (You can read another example from M. a few days back.) According to Politico, Texas Republicans have this on sale for its state convention. This button reflects the Republicans desire to brand Republicans as being white (and Christian).

This is nothing new, especially for Texas. In Lines in the Sand, Steve Bickerstaff argues that when the Texas State Republicans redistricted the state in 2003 - 2004, they attempted to brand the Democrats as being the party that represents minorities,

And for those Clinton supporters who feel that Senator McCain and the Republicans will be a better choice in the fall and this button is still not enough, I suggest you read Senator John McCain's 1998 joke about Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Janet Reno, or the comments by a prominent McCain fundraiser (and Aggie Alum.), Clayton Williams. While I do not think that any readers here are in this category, these comments need exposure.

John McCain and the Conservative Elite

In today's The Washington Post, George Will belittles John McCain's understanding of the US Constitution. In his column today, Will not only attacks McCain for the Senator's support of campaign finance, but for the Senator's stance on the Supreme Court's recent decision on the rights of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay to petition the federal courts for a hearing.

After the Court released its decision, McCain called the decision one of the worst ever. In response, George Will attacked McCain for his lack of foresight and understanding of the Constitution:
"Did McCain's extravagant condemnation of the court's habeas ruling result from his reading the 126 pages of opinions and dissents? More likely, some clever ignoramus convinced him that this decision could make the Supreme Court -- meaning, which candidate would select the best judicial nominees -- a campaign issue."

Will's larger purpose is to defend the writ of habeas corpus and, in doing so, defends the ability of the people, and the judiciary, to constrain the power of government. Also, Will provides a conservative position to reject Senator McCain for president. This significance is that if the conservative elite divides itself over the election of John McCain then the conservative electorate may also divide itself.

Protesting Same-Sex Marriage in California

From CNN: a group of protesters crash a same-sex marriage and reception in California. This speaks tells a lot of the protesters as it reveals how they desire to combine church and state in an illiberal way.

Update: According to an ABC affiliate in San Francisco, there seems to be another form of protest in California as three counties in California stopped performing weddings because of the California Supreme Court's decision to allow for same-sex marriages. I am not sure for long this will occur but "family values" groups are doing what they can to protect the family.

Monday, June 16, 2008

How cool is this?

Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84, both of whom are long time Lesbian activists, were married today by the mayor of San Francisco. Several other couples, including a couple who has been together for 26 years, were also married today.

Herethetics in the Campaign: Arranging the Vice-Presidency

Senator Obama announced that Patti Solis Doyle, the former Clinton campaign manager, will play a role in the Obama campaign, serving as the chief of staff to the vice presidential candidate. Senator Clinton fired Doyle from her campaign on February 10th after Super Tuesday (the February 5th Super Tuesday and not every Tuesday according to MSNBC).

This is not necessarily a new development as Ben Smith of Politico reported back in May that Patti Smith Doyle was mulling an offer, especially since she has known David Axlerod for over twenty years and is a native to Chicago.

However, it is very suggestive of how Senator Obama is trying to arrange the situation around the Vice Presidential pick. Knowing that there is tension between Patti Smith Doyle and Hillary Clinton, as they have not talked since Clinton fired her, this creates tension between Clinton and Doyle, reducing Clinton's ability to accept the position if offered. Even if Obama were to offer the position to Clinton, Doyle will stand above Clinton and will serve as an awkward liaison between the two Senators. Hence, heresthetics-- altering situational factors to achieve a desired result.

The Clinton campaign is not happy with this move and have called it a "slap in the face." (For a history of Senator Clinton and being "Slapped in the Face" read an article from The New Republic.) Yet, publicly, they approve of the move. This is a very interesting move to attempt to recapture ground to obtain the Vice Presidency. According to Politico, here is the response by the Clinton campaign:
“Patti will be an asset and good addition to the Obama campaign. After nearly two decades in political life, she brings with her the ability to tap an extensive network that will be a huge asset to Senator Obama. As Senator Clinton has said, we’re all going to do our part to help elect Senator Obama as the next President of the United States," said spokesman Mo Elleithee.

If nothing else, the Clinton campaign is playing the game here. it is a fun guve and take going on within the Democratic Party.