I’m at a Loss for Words

Albrect Dürer\'s Rhinocerous

In a week in which it comes to light that President George W. Bush revealed that God told him to invade Iraq–with all that implies–and former Repulican presidential candidate–and pretender to the vice-presidential slot along with John McCain–Mike Huckabee made a supposedly jocular comment in the middle of a speech to the American Rifle Association to the effect that his Democratic opponent, Barak Obama, was taking cover as someone had him in their sights, I am at a loss for words. Continue reading

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The Presidential Candidates As Polymorphous Panderers

Albrecht Dürer\'s \

Who and What the U.S. Presidential Candidates Must Pander to in Order to Get Elected:

  • To extreme right-wing Christians, who don’t require reasons. They have the agenda of their angry God. They’ve formed a group called Christians United for Israel (CUFI). One of their spokesmen, Pastor John Hagee recently declared:The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West… a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation […] and [the] Second Coming of Christ.”

    That is to say, they want to bring on the Apocalypse, which would expedite their own ascent into heaven and send their enemies straight to hell. Continue reading

Is John McCain’s Memory Failing?

Presidential hopeful, John McCain

Is John McCain’s memory failing him, or is he trying to insult our intelligence again? Neither hypothesis says much in favor of the Republican front runner’s decency or competence.

In a recent interview with K. Brinkbäumer and M. Hujer for Der Spiegel, reported in Spain’s El País newspaper, when asked (my translation), “Would you agree to speak with someone like Mahmuid Ahmadineyad, the Irani president?” McCain replied:

As long as Iran continues to proclaim its intention to finish off the state of Israel and as long as they do not
cease the use of nuclear arms, I will continue to say that this is an unacceptable situation for us.

This gem is from a man who could plausibly be the next president of the United States of America. Let’s put him straight here, just for the record:

  • Iran has no nuclear weapons. Iran doesn’t even have any nuclear power plants.
  • The only Middle East country which has nuclear weapons is Israel, which possesses a formidable atomic arsenal–some analysts say the world’s fifth most important–including a submarine-based second-strike capability.
  • To pretend that this massive Israeli threat to its neighbors, whether tacit or explicit, is not a determining factor in all Middle East diplomacy is to be less than candid.

So, Mr. McCain, permit me respectfully to suggest that you desist from your campaign to become president of the United States. For one reason or another, you’re not up to the job.

Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane? No, It’s the Machine Again

SuperdelegatesFaster than a speeding pork barrel, more powerful than executive privilege, able to leap tall ballot boxes in a single bound. There in the sky, is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Superdelegate!

Now that the contest for the Democratic nomination is intensifying we see the term “superdelegate” popping up more and more in the media, but I have yet to see an explanation of how some of the Democratic Convention delegates became “super.” It seems that there are delegates and delegates and that some of them are more equal than others, and not precisely because they eat more spinach.

First stop, the Wikipedia: “’Superdelegate’ is an informal term for some of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention, the quadrennial convention of the United States Democratic Party.” According to the online encyclopedia, the superdelegates are not elected in primary elections nor party caucuses, but are delegates ex-oficio by virtue of being Democratic incumbents or ex office holders. They are what the Democratic Convention website refers to as “unpledged and pledged party leaders and elected official delegates,” whatever that means. We shall refer to them here as “The Team from the Machine.” There are 796 of them, making up roughly 20% of the total number of delegates to the Democratic Convention. Continue reading