Monday, October 30, 2006

What War?

Just Anything But The Facts, MA'Am

There was a Harry Nielson song when I grew up with a refrain "put the lime in the coconut..." and it said something like "we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear." People also tend to project their own psychotic obsessions on people wholly innocent of the slander.
My aunt who is diabetic likes to tell everyone to get their blood sugar level checked whether they need it or not. I have another relative who had fibroids who at the slightest sight of puffiness sends people for check ups for tumors, and yet another who is rather bonkers who tells everyone else they should see a shrink. There is an official psychiatric term for it- it's called "PROJECTION."
It is easy to see that this is exactly what is at play in the current RNC sleezy ad campaign where they throw a scummy level of dirt on candidates, accusing them of everything from 900 number sex talk solicitation, to investigating bisexual eskimos and studying dirty habits of old men, to hanging out in Playboy mansions. That of course is the classic inverted mirror projection only worthy of the party that enabled Foley frolicking, and massive corruption on all levels (don't get me started on the Vice President's daughter and his wife's depiction of graphic lesbian love affairs).

The fact that the RNC can't dredge up anything better to tar and feather these people with is indictive of the fact that they can't think of anything better to tar and feather these people with.

More intelligent reasoned debate on the issues you might find at the reptile pit of the National Zoo.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bean Counters and Opti-Scanners

At least you could see the Chads Hanging

Hold on to your Mouse- and get ready for flipping screen checkmarks, hopping yellow screen highlights and a baffling mysterious count that bears no relation to the polls and multiple news accounts of who actually won.
Heaven Forbid-- please Heaven- forbid it this time.

One thing I love about the Dominicans, that white robed Order of Catholic Preachers is that since the 13th Century they have elected democratically their own leader. Two people were apparently nominated (OK- so they are all men, aside from that constitutional conundrum Mrs. Lincoln the play was fine).
The two people then are voted on by the friar brothers. Here is how they do it.
They count beans. I kid you not.
White beans and black beans. If you like candidate A you put a white bean in a jar, candidate B a black bean in a jar. Then they count the beans.
Let's look at the principle, while the numbers were decidedly smaller than a city, state or all 300 million of us now.
Let's just take one race- say Harold Ford's race where you know that Rove is going to try to pull every dirty little trick in the book to try to defeat him.
What if in every polling place throughout the State of Tennessee there were a Democratic
pollwatcher- could be an attorney election protection appointee- and that person had a jar the size of a large inverted water cooler. In places where there were larger numbers of registered people have 2, 3, 4 or 5 water cooler jugs depending on the numbers of registered voters. As people leave, ask them if they voted for Harold, have a huge sign above the water cooler jugs- did you vote for Harold? If they voted for Harold tell them they can take and eat a jelly bean and ask them to put one in the jug. Make sure you get an answer from everyone who leaves.
Did you vote for Harold? (Have another jug for people who would rather not say and everytime that is the answer put a jelly bean of another color in that jar.
Then each Democratic pollwatcher takes the jug to central counting. They all count the beans together.
It's an edible exit poll. It operates as a check against the hopping screens, the disappearing provisional ballots, the destroyed memory cards and the hacking switcheroo.
That my friends is how the Black Jelly Beans Rise to the Top of the Jug- and Harold Ford will be the next US Senator from Tennessee- the first African American since Reconstruction. God Bless Him.

Truth in Advertising and other things out the Window

Ken Mehlman wears his Mother's Underwear-see the CNN exclusive tonight.

I Couldn't remain silent any longer. It's getting just too wierd in Washington.

The RNC has apparently assaulted Harold Ford's good honor, and spun first an absurd piece of white-women bashing insulting tripe designed to lose him the African American women vote because some faux blonde winky bimbo thinks he's cute, followed with another equally misleading attempt to dump him into their formula whether the facts fit or not. The Republicans are fact adverse and no fact phases them apparently.
Do they think that all good looking people are too Hollywood for them? Is that just because most of their bigger wigs are uglier than mud? Take Ken Mehlman for example? Can you imagine him on a sit com? I can imagine him maybe on an ad for those extreme makeover surgeons.

In case you missed it, here is the Republican formula that they apply all across the Board pasting on anyone whether or not exactly the opposite is true:
1. They support gay marriage
2. They support extension of wild uncontrolled abortion on demand (especially for teenagers)
(and usually while it doesn't feature in this Harold attack- 3. they don't have the stomach for war and thus can't keep us safe.)

It's just ridiculous-laughable really, that this is the only thing in a time of incredibly complicated world security where we are bleeding the treasury by the billions for folly after misguided folly in Iraq, that the republicans can't think of anything better than to tar and feather every democrat with that absurd formula. How do you feel about health care, impoverished hungry children, global aids crisis creating millions of orphans, global warming us into the sea, huricaine FEMA competency, education and literacy, having one friend outside the continental US? (just to name a few other issues the Iraq obsession has obscured)

I am not surprised actually that this is the best that Ken Mehlman can do. Not to malign Franklin and Marshall College where he went to college (and where I went for a year before transferring to a school you actually had to study for to get As) but Ken Mehlman is not the brightest bulb in the florescent fixture. He's apparently just the tackiest and most below the belt base unthinking tool of Rove's evil "genius" and three fries short of a happy meal when it comes to understanding what the American people are really concerned about today.

No No No No No-- Harold Ford did not ever vote to give teenagers an after pill or encourage their abortions. Harold Ford did not vote to support Gay Marriage (whatever you might think of the proposition.) It's just more of the same formulaic hooey (as Tony Snow likes to say.)

Now here's the little legal lesson--
Basic 101 Defamation law tells us that public figures can't sue for slander or libel unless there is demonstrable "malice." That is so as to not chill people from freely speeking their minds about public figures or chilling the public debate. I think it's easy to demonstrate Malice in these sorts of bold faced lie in our faces deceptive campaigns. Further I think that there ought to be heavy FEC (Federal Election Commission) fines and penalties for totally unresearched clearly false advertising. And there out to be published FEC issued commercials airing in the same markets and times explaining that the previous Ad was pulled by order of the FEC because it contained false and misleading advertising. That might make folks a bit more honest.

The damage is typically done with these sorts of lies before any lawsuit could resolve the legal defamation issues (and who wants to pay lawyers when you would rather pay campaign people) so candidates who are typically spent out after election season don't bother if they lose- and the other side feeds the press with all kinds of crap on why they lost which has nothing of course to do with the swiftboating influence- but someone ought to give serious thought to whether there ought to be a Non Profit organization set up for the express purpose of
seeking heavy punitive damages against either side which airs clearly boldly false claims
with expedited proceedings and a redesigned injunction standard and malice threshold standard to get them off the air the day that they air and shut these factories of falsehood down.

Since when do lies ad to the public debate? When does boldly misasserting facts known to be false ever advance the public discourse?

To Harold and all swiftboated candidates everywhere I say- just sue the Bastards.