My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics: Get Your Facts Straight Edition

Last night was the greatly anticipated debate between Vice Presidential candidates Palin and Biden. The entire world was either waiting for or fearing Palin falling flat on her political face, repeating her dismal performances in the recent interviews conducted by the see-if-we-can-make-her-look-stupid-then-revel-when-we-do media. And Joe Biden was expected to put us all into a catatonic stupor as he talked, and talked, and talked and talked.

I did watch the debates last night, but I can’t claim to have paid rapt attention. I was playing Texas Hold ’em poker at the same time. Sue me.

There was so much hoopla surrounding a debate that really doesn’t matter all that much, and lots of people were disappointed. Why?

Both candidates did well.

Here’s what I came away with:

Sarah Palin is a hell of a public speaker. She’s eloquent, personable, and she has a way of connecting with people that makes you feel like she’s speaking directly, and only, to you.

Sarah Palin did not fall flat on her face. She shined.

Joe Biden did not induce catatonia. He showed his intelligence and experience, as usual. But he also showed warmth, vulnerability (showing that his wounds are still fresh when speaking of his first wife and daughter, killed in a long ago accident, and his seriously injured but surviving sons), respect and humor.

I do not like in the least little bit Sarah Palin’s alignment with Dick Cheney’s contention that the Vice President has more powers than any reasonable person’s interpretation of our Constitution would suggest. No, ma’am.

I hate that both Biden and Palin told incomplete truths about several of their contentions. If you are like me you know that what you’re hearing isn’t the complete truth. That what you’re hearing is spin, and that if you only had the time or the inclination you could find out what the real truth is.

Well, it’s not that hard to find out. Check out this link for some fact checking results, and while you’re at it bookmark the site to help you wade through the spin and rhetoric.

And, on a separate but kind of related note, I do not like anyone’s contention that people who are caught in the sub-prime mess should get to renegotiate their principal. I have no issue with them getting a better interest rate, but their principal should not be forgiven, even if they have to give half of the profits from some later sale of their house back to the government. That is totally unfair to all of the rest of the people whose home values have plummeted – and to the institutions who lent them the money. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong! (Okay, that wasn’t really debated, but it was part of the bailout that really pisses me off.)

I came away from last night’s debate knowing both candidates better. I’m still officially undecided, but I’m leaning one way pretty heavily at this point, and the night’s debate didn’t change that.

I lost all my virtual chips playing poker last night, but I’m not worried. In real life I’d never be so impulsive as to go all in on a pair of 2s when there’s a flush draw on the board. I’m just not that much of a gambler. I promise to be more careful than that when my money is really on the table – and on November 4th.

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Read the rest of this series:

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Sarah Palin Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Hypocrisy Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Politics: Going to the United Nations Does Not Foreign Policy Experience Make

My Own Cynical Take on Politics: Going to the United Nations Does Not Foreign Policy Experience Make

I am a staunch No Party Affiliation registered voter that grew up in a very liberal Jewish household. I am on the mailing list for both Obama and McCain’s campaigns. The spin is just incredible. This article is part of an occasional series on this year’s Presidential Politics.

Each morning I’ve been watching the Today Show, and my ears bleed as I hear the their obligatory updates on what the candidates are doing that day. Here are some of my impressions:

1. Apparently there’s big controversy over Obama allowing Babs to throw a big shindig for him and raise a brazilian dollars. The Repub rhetoricians say that Obama should not raise that kind of huge money on the eve of Lehman Brothers, AIG and a 20% loss of value in the stock market.

As if John McCain hasn’t raised a brazilian dollars, too. And just because the financial world has uncontrollable diarrhea doesn’t mean that fundraising stops – for either side. And anyone who even tries to use that to discredit the other side is just a political hack, jealous that Babs isn’t raising money for their side.

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2. They interviewed John McCain about the state of the market and his contention that the foundations of the economy were fine, when anyone who is not dead, or not Paris Hilton, knows it is not. John just did not answer the questions asked. With every question he answered that American workers were good. American workers were great. He loooooooooooooves AMERICAN WORKERS. AMERICAN WORKERS can do no wrong! It was so very painfully obvious that someone said to him, “Hey, John. You have totally screwed yourself with the people whose vote you need to get – the AMERICAN WORKERS. Make sure you get across the message that things are tough for AMERICAN WORKERS, and that you’re the one who can make it all better.”

Pssssst. Hey John! He didn’t mean for you to infuse that into EVERY FRICKIN SENTENCE.

Dadgum, I hate when you can see the puppeteer’s strings.

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3. They mention that Sarah Palin has rejoined McCain on his campaign stops, and that she’ll be visiting the UN to meet with some world leaders in “an attempt to bolster her foreign affairs experience”, or something that means exactly that.

Wow! I didn’t know that going to the UN could give foreign affairs experience! I wonder how much experience I can put on my resume. After all, I toured the UN in 5th grade, and I lived three short blocks from the UN when I lived in NYC!!!!

Also, I didn’t realize that simply meeting dignitaries counts as experience for Sarah Palin and qualifies her to be on the dignitaries’ level! I’ve met Jon Bon Jovi (he even kissed my cheek when his band played my 8th grade St. Valentine’s Day Dance – go ahead, be jealous), so I guess that makes me a terrific singer with great hair.

Anyone who has heard me sing will tell you that just ain’t so. I couldn’t carry a tune in a suitcase.

But I do have great hair.

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Read the rest of this series:

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Sarah Palin Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Hypocrisy Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics: Get Your Facts Straight Edition


My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Hypocrisy Edition

Let me preface this by saying that I’m sure, sure this type of hypocrisy goes on with liberal windbags rhetoricians, too.

But this is why I want to have Jon Stewart’s children.

Okay, not really. But I’d love to have him over for dinner. I’d even serve gefilte fish.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Read the rest of this series:

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Sarah Palin Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Politics: Going to the United Nations Does Not Foreign Policy Experience Make

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics: Get Your Facts Straight Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Sarah Palin Edition

I am a staunch No Party Affiliation registered voter that grew up in a very liberal Jewish household. I am on the mailing list for both Obama and McCain’s campaigns. The spin is just incredible.

Some friends and I were discussing the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate, and a good-natured debate blossomed.

She is fairly inexperienced.

I think it was a brilliant choice. He’ll take most of the women who were voting for Hilary just because she’s a woman, and she’ll satisfy many of the conservatives, too. HE has the experience. She doesn’t need it. McCain’s campaign will totally spin it “Who would you rather have get on the job training – the President or the VP?

Besides, any woman that can be the Governor of a state and still be involved in 5 kids’ lives has to be doing something right!

McCain chose someone he barely knew, and his his choice was insulting to Hillary supporters as McCain thinks they are shallow enough to now vote for him simply because he chose a woman VP.

I’ve read that he’d met her 6 months ago and spoken to her once since, so it’s true he does not know her well. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a negative, though. I mean Obama chose for his running mate someone he’d spoken out against publicly, someone who he insisted he didn’t agree with on many issues, and now they’re bestest buds? I’m not really holding that against Obama, either – that’s the nature of politics, and one of the reasons it’s so distasteful to me. There is just so much hypocrisy.

I think there are many who would have voted for Hilary simply because she is female, just like I think there are many who will vote for Obama just because he is black or McCain just because he is white, and male. There are people that vote for candidates because they’re from the same state, or the same university, or they’re both Elks, or the look like their Cousin Floyd (or not vote for them for that r eason). There are people who will vote for the candidate that looks most likely to win, whether they agree with their politics or not.

There are those that vote either Democrat or Republican or Green, regardless of the merits of the candidate, just because they believe the general philosophy of the party, or they fear the general philosophy of the other parties.

I think Obama’s a hell of an orator, and he’s got charisma galore. I like that McCain is a bit of a maverick. I think both are relatively decent men with different philosophies, and I fear for our country no matter who is elected.

So I will do what I do with every distasteful yet necessary responsibility I have – hold my nose, devote some time to research the issues I feel are most important, tune out the rhetoric and vote.

And appreciate that I live in a country where have the right to do so.

And pray.

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Read the rest of this series:


My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics – Hypocrisy Edition

My Own Cynical Take on Politics: Going to the United Nations Does Not Foreign Policy Experience Make

My Own Cynical Take on Presidential Politics: Get Your Facts Straight Edition

Coffee Tawk with Be This Way

(You can see a higher quality version by clicking here, but they didn’t have a way to embed, so poop on them!)

Discuss!

Show Nana the Money!

I found something out yesterday that I didn’t know, so I thought there might be others that don’t know, either.

My mother is retired and lives on Social Security. She has no other income, so we don’t file tax returns for her.

When I heard about President Bush’s Economic Stimulus package I was thrilled that we’ll be getting some hard-earned cash back. It never occurred to me that my mother, who hasn’t earned any income in over ten years, would also be able to collect. I’d never actually read the requirements, which are:

Individuals and families must have at least $3,000 of income from any combination of earned income, Social Security retirement or disability benefits, certain Railroad retirement benefits, or disability compensation, disability pension, or survivor benefits paid by the Veterans Affairs. The minimum economic stimulus payment is $300 for individuals and $600 for married couples.

So, Wahoo! Mom can participate. The only catch for her is that she has to file a tax return. And the IRS is making it easier for her and people like her. People who have no legal requirement to file a tax return but must file a return this year in order to receive a 2008 economic stimulus payment can participate in the Free File program and file their taxes online.

There is no charge for using IRS Free File. With just a few answers, people can complete a simple form and use IRS e-file. The IRS also urges all filers to use direct deposit, if they have a checking or savings account, because it is the fastest way to receive an economic stimulus payment. Some people feel funny about that, but really they can have access to your account any time they want, so you may as well get the money sooner, n’est pas?

Once people file a tax return, they don’t need to do anything more. The IRS will do the rest. They will begin issuing payments starting in May.

For my Mom this extra money will be like winning the lottery. I hope she’ll use it to pay for an airline ticket to come visit us, which would be lovely.

So, please go ask your parents or grandparents if they qualify. You may just have found them $300…

Show Me The Money, Mr. President!

Wow!!!!!!!!!!

President Bush wants to send me $1600!!!!!!!!!!

In an effort to stave off a recession, he’s announced that he wants to give a tax rebate of up to $800 to singles or $1600 per household. He wants me to go spend it to jump-start the economy. He wants to throw it at us middle-classers, because we, as a class, are so well known for squandering any money we can get our over-manicured hands on. We’re so spendiferous!

Sorry, Mr. President.

I’d loooooooooove for you to send me $1600. Heck I might even vote for you! No, wait. Oh…….that’s right. Term limits suck, huh?

Well, if you do get around to sending me that $1600, be forewarned. I’m going to be doing the same thing with this rebate that I did with the last one. It’s going right into savings. And if I did have any debt besides mortgage, that’s where it would be going.

I’m not buying any iPods.

I’m not buying a new car.

I’m not buying a bigger house (dammit).

I’m not buying a Wii, a new nose or a pair of Manolo Blahniks.

Americans need to learn to live below their means, not just at it. That means not running out and spending all of the money we get, especially before we get it. Do you know how many people were already spending this, at least in their minds, as soon as the words left your mouth?

What? That’s what you were counting on????

Oy.

Well, I’m sure there are plenty of people who will do as you wish.

Just not me.

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