Thursday, October 30, 2008

on campaigns and their advertising

I just read that KTVQ and other television stations in Montana have said they will not run a television ad from the Democrats about Fox that claims he has been fired from three jobs. If the ad is inaccurate then I salute them for not running it. But what I don't understand is why they then keep running Republican ads attacking Schweitzer and Bullock. The cited source of the Bullock ad has said that it is inaccurate and asked to have it taken down, but the stations haven't stopped running it. And they are also continuing to run the nasty attack ads run by Cynthia Lummox of Wyoming which are full of big buzz words, once very upstanding words like socialism and liberalism that have become Republican buzz words. They are empty of context anymore just as the other dirty word, conservative, has no meaning any more. Essentially it seems to mean someone who watches the dollar until it blushes; but, no, it means someone who doesn't believe in abortion or gay marriage and wants to tell the rest of world how to act; but, no, it means someone who wants to go back to a dream world that never was; but, no, it means someone who is mean spirited and doesn't believe in people's right to be free to make our own decisions; but, wait, it means..... It's become a dirty word.

The National Republican Party decided to put some ads into Montana to counteract all the ads that Obama has been running. They are claiming that he has not been tested in a crisis and has no administrative experience. If they truly believe that, then they are telling the world that we will be electing a President this Tuesday who doesn't have any administrative experience and actually has never been in a position to make a President's life and death decisions: If you read his biography, McPain doesn't have any administrative experience either and has never been in a position where he has had to make a critical decision that would affect anybody but himself. Why is he a better leader for a crisis? My suggestion is that he wouldn't; he would let his emotions handle too much of his decision making. You have to have emotions working to make good decisions, but his seem awfully limited and narrow.

This election seems to me to be the most malevolent of any I've seen since I voted absentee for Eisenhower in 1956, the first vote for President I ever cast. I'm beginning to believe that not only should the regulators bring back the Fairness Doctrine for both radio and televisiion, but that they should also ban all attack ads by political candidates and force those candidates to only run ads where they tell their platforms and what they will do if elected. If they talk in generalities, then the general public may reject them. At least we would have an idea as we get this election with the Weasel and some of the legislator candidates as to how all they can say is lower taxes and create new jobs and new programs. It's inance. Or they will freeze all government spending, which didn't work the last time the Republicans tried it back in Clinton's terms when the got nasty about funding that national government.

McCain was one of those people in my mind who was a survivor; he survived Annapolis (probably only with the help of two admirals, his father and grandfather); he survived Vietnam; he survived the Pentagon; and he survived the U.S. Senate. Which doesn't make him a good candidate for President. His judgment seems to be lacking in two of the key people in the last stages of this campaign: his choice of Sarah Pain for vice president and his sudden burst of appreciation for Joe the Plumber who isn't a licensed plumber and probably will never be a small businessman making more than 250,000 a year in his own business. The odds are against him even when he buys an existing business. So much dirt is mucking up the hems of Pain's 150,000 worth of hems, etc., that she is having some problems. So I would suggest that McBush's judgment was not active or he didn't vet these two people properly before mixing them into his campaign. The first question he should have asked about both is if there was anything that could come back and bite them on the butt. But he didn't and both have a few bite marks there even though they try to pooh-pooh them.

The biggest question that exists is Pain's history and acceptance in a big way by the religious wrong way out in la la land. I have always understood that abstinence and standing away from sex until marriage was the good old religious wrong's standard for teens. But they cheer on Palin and her daughter as they hold forth with what looks as if it's a family tradition. Apparently Sarah herself had a seven-month baby and now her daughter is about to have a child before she's married. Why have the religious control freaks changed their minds on this activity? Despite what the parties and the wingnuts on both sides say about the mainstream media, they do a good job of reporting the facts. Basically, those people who are at odds with mainstream news are those who are unwill to accept the facts because they file them in a section of their brain where everyone is a villain or a loafter, etc., and want the msm to print and air the facts with that slant. They do get some hacks in news room that have political biases. A headline on the Billings Gazette this morning about Obama's 30 min advertisement on television last year obviously was written by a very biased head writer. The gist of the head was that McCain, mentioned in one small paragraph about three or four down and the last paragraphs on the end, had criticized the ad. But the bulk of the page 1 story was about Obama and the tv show and not about McBush. For those of you who are disdainful of the daily newspapers in the country, the biggest failure I see so far is to ask some of the questions I've asked before. But we've become such a lackluster news nation any more that nobody asks the really hard questions for fear of offending someone.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

on the vp debate

Sarah Agnew-Pain did a better job than I expected in tonight's debate but she did do what she has been doing in the interviews that she's had with news people: every time she did not to answer a question, she went off on the scripted comments she's been making for weeks about her "experience" as mayor of a small town and as the governor of Alaska, or cited her mantra of change (which the Republican ticket adopted when they realized how Obama was benefitting from its use of the word), or changing the subject when she had opportunities to say how McCain's policies would differ from Bush's, or going to the flag, motherhood and apple pie when cornered; or talking about how she's middle class when she's worth at least $1 million. I don't know many middle class people who are worth that much. At least some of the people interviewed afterwards realized that she didn't answer the questions. And I think people who said they were impressed by her insistence that she was one of the people are swayed not by the issues but by the flag waving and identification.

The talking heads said she didn't make any mistakes, but she did make at least two in foreign policy. At one point she seemed to equate Al Quaida with the Shiia as terrorists when Al Quaida is actually mostly Wahabi, which is a fundamentalist Sunni sect. A moment later she linked Al Malaki, the current leader of the government of Iraq, which we support with the Taliban, the ousted government of Afghanistan which has apparently joined with Al Quaida on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. She also seemed to say that Israel should have a blank check when dealing with Iran. And on another note, she created a funny point that no one seemed to catch when she talked about the Obama/Obiden ticket. People praised her for standing tall and seeming sure of what she was saying. But she also did that when she bungled news interviews so badly. And she keeps smiling when she has nothing to smile about.

But Pain refuses to answer questions. Even when she seemed to agree with Biden, as on the gay marriage iissue, she still waffled. Will she allow civil rights for same sex couples? She never answered that. She mentioned contracts which is basically dodging the issue. Will she support enabling same sex couples government support for their unions? I would suggest that her refusal to answer questions is part arrogance and part ignorance.

One other item that I almost forgot: She also repeats the same red herring about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yes, they were doing things that perhaps they should have been more careful about, but they were also doing the job they were set up to do which is to provide a secondary market for mortgages. And blaming the laws against red lining for the mess is just ridiculous. Under the law, banks couldn't red line any part of a community, but they still could use sound banking practices in making loans.

on brown and mcgillvary

The weasel, Roy Brown, came out with his first television ads this week. As expected, he attacked his opponent without citing anything about his own role in the Legislature or about what he would do for the state except for very general statements. The problem with his ad is that he did say Montanans don't like liars, so why does he expect that they would vote for him? The weasel is probably one of the biggest liars in state politics. He will stand and lie to you with a straight face but if you watch him he will look to the left and crinkle his eyes in such a way that you know he is aware that what he is saying is not truth. He will tell you that he favors funding education in the state but his actions in the Legislature do not prove that and he knew several years ago that the state had not fully funded education. He told me that it had but two years later, or less, the state Supreme Court ruled that it hadn't. If you really want someone who won't tell you the truth and who will vote against the interests of the people of Montana vote Brown. Remember his tax cuts, as are most Republican tax cuts, will not benefit most of us, including small businesses, but they will benefit out of state firms operating in Montana.

At the same time as his tv ads, Brown also started posting signs around the city. In my area, they are mostly accompanied by signs supporting an incumbent who, beyond a doubt, is one of the lesser lights in the legislature, Tom McGillvary. Now Tom says he is supported by groups who say he has one of the "best" records in the Legislature of voting against government spending, something of which he should ashamed, not proud. He told one of his constitutents last time that he would cut taxes. When that constituent asked him what programs he would cut to do that, the only one he could come up with was one that spends less than $100,000 a biennium to pay counselors so that parents adjudged to be possible dangers to their children can visit with those children in a chaperoned milieu. Do we want to deny those parents visits with their children? He actually did vote in the last legislatu, twice, against expanding the child health insurance program to more Montana children. And while his campaign literature says he wants to be a force in the legislature for bringing people together, he actually voted against any compromises, including the one that finally ended the special session. I am ashamed that my neighbors elected both of these men.

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