Monday, October 29, 2012

The Week From Hell

Good morning from Chaos House. For different reasons, Stella and I both were up almost all night; then she had to dash to work at a speed that frightened me just watching her. The cats are sensitized to changes in her frame of mind; cats are good at that... and sometimes a simple "Feed me NAOW!!" can help the human, at least, to focus on a seemingly impossible series of tasks to be crammed into an impossibly short time. Stella is on her way. (Whew!)

As the week of elections begins tomorrow, I have inserted a short list of independent tracking and other polls in the sidebar for your convenience. Needless to say, I haven't the expertise to endorse any of their numbers, but Krugman says they at least have an honest approach which they are willing to talk about. In an election involving Republicans, it is good to have something or someone that is honest. Regular international visitors, I suppose I needn't even remind you to expect the worst America has to offer in the coming week; some of you do (or don't) have similar circumstances surrounding your own elections.

Josh Marshall summed up Rmoney's closing message:
Mitt Romney is closing out with a big message which seems to be “Mitt Romney has a Big Message!”
No kidding! Meanwhile, the Rmoney campaign's Lies and Obfuscations Division is working round the clock, claiming things like this offered by TNR:
As you may have heard, Romney on Thursday scared the bejeezus out of Ohio autoworkers when, during a rally, he cited a story claiming that Chrysler was moving Jeep production to China. Thousands of people work at a sprawling Jeep complex in Toledo and a nearby machining plant. Many thousands more work for suppliers or have jobs otherwise dependent on the Jeep factories. It’s fair to say that they owe their jobs to President Obama, who in 2009 rescued Chrysler and General Motors from likely liquidation. If Chrysler moved the plants overseas, most of those people would be out of work.
The story is, as California girls are supposed to say, "totally bogus." Chrysler is in talks with China about starting up new plants to address the growing Chinese market, and has no plans to close down or reduce production at US plants. The whole thing was a complete and utter baldfaced lie... told by Myth in Ohio to autoworkers, where it would do the most damage, 9 days from Election Day. Multiply this phenomenon by a few hundred and you have an idea how the Rmoney campaign works. Get ready for nine long days fielding and returning lobs like this. Debunking a lie isn't quite enough; they're like zombies, coming back to life (undeadness?) many times through the right-wing noise machine for... well, for longer than the period between now and the election.

Then you have Sandy. Calling this storm a hurricane doesn't do it justice; it has characteristics of tropical weather and a nor'easter combined. Bryan and others are calling it "Frankenstorm"; he has a good explanation. The potential to wreak havoc on elections is very real, including places like New Jersey where Democrats don't need havoc worked.

Finally, there's voter suppression, Republicans' signature activity marking their lack of anything resembling Obama's much-vaunted ground game. Just read a few articles. It doesn't take long to get the idea that GOPers really don't want people to vote, if they can stop them. Yes, of course it's un-American; why do you ask?

So here I am, on my second cup of very strong coffee since about 3:00 AM; hoping for something like mental clarity (which is, notwithstanding Rethugs' claims to the contrary, my normal state). May you all manage to survive the week with your health intact... and with anyone but Rmoney as president-elect when it's over. I expect a repeat of 2000, when it took until the Supreme Court's Dec. 12 eleventh-hour ruling to learn that GeeDubya won by a vote of 5 to 4. Today's court is only marginally better than that one. But if Rmoney takes office (phrase chosen advisedly), and makes a few Supreme Court appointments, we can kiss free and fair elections goodbye... not to mention undoing most of three generations' worth of progressive jurisprudence:
Replacing even one of the liberal justices with a conservative, legal scholars and advocates across the ideological spectrum agree, would position conservatives to scale back the social safety net and abortion rights in the near term. Over time, if a robust five-vote conservative bloc prevails on the court for years, the right would have the potential opportunity to reverse nearly a century of progressive jurisprudence.

For all those reasons, conservative legal activists anticipate that a Romney win would be the culmination of their decades-long project to remake the country’s legal architecture.
And there you have it. This could be a very bad week... or not; not all the polls look terrible. We need anyone but Rmoney if our nation is to survive. Go out and make it happen!


  1. I was just musing about Sandy, as she bears down on us today. If GOP voter suppression efforts have mobilized Dems, who tend to vote early (which currently gives Obama and early lead), and Sandy reduces turnout next week on Election day, when Repubs usually vote, would there be a certain poetic justice to a big Romney loss along the East Coast?

    1. ntodd,

      Short answer: Yes.

      Slightly longer answer: all genuine justice is poetic.

      Expansive answer: I wish you and your family (human and canine and feline) the best as you settle in for the storm; if it were purely a hurricane, I would worry more, but I'm sure you have faced nor'easters many times in your life and know exactly what to do. OTOH, it occurs to me this might be Sadie's first! I'll never forget my first hurricane, well over a half century ago; there's nothing like a really big storm to give one pause to think. Your thought about Dems and Obama supporters voting early occurred to me, too. I don't know very many people (period), but everyone I know here who is voting for Obama/Biden has already voted early, notwithstanding some really, really long lines! Let's just hope those bits, stored on whatever medium they reside on, last without incident through Election Day. Oh, for a return of paper ballots, hand-marked, with a strict chain of custody...

  2. We've been watching the wonderful National Parks series by Ken Burns. What a progressive thought, to make the parks for 'all people'. But the best business model would be to sell off all the park land (all those resources!) or to privatize them (think of all the hotels and motels and casinos lining the Grand Canyon!)... so if Romney gets in, expect a war with Iran (the neocons who bought him want that), the destruction of our fantastic public education system, the privatization of things that can't be dug up, melted down, drilled or cut down. Business as usual.

    1. ellroon, Rmoney is as soulless as they come. I don't even have a religious concept of a human soul, only a sort of "ghost in the machine" in our brains which, as an emergent property, makes us human... but I do not see that in Rmoney. It terrifies and angers me to think of his governing other people.

      I am glad I have been to the Grand Canyon (which isn't so cluttered with... stuff!) and to Niagara (which is overwhelmingly cluttered). But when I think of the kids who haven't seen them, and kids yet to come who will never see them if the Rmoneys have their way, it sickens my heart. What a disgusting man!



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