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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Help Me, Help Meeee!

Anything Can Happen

by MISSY BEATTIE

Eleven years ago, Christine O’Donnell, now Delaware’s Republican US Senate hopeful, admitted to Bill Maher that she “dabbled into witchcraft.”

Yes, it’s weird. But so what? Here’s Frank Sinatra’s take on the subject.

O’Donnell blames her voodoo excursion on youthful excess. I can identify. With the youthful excess part. Most of us reach maturity having maneuvered through many judgement lapses. Dabbling in something. O’Donnell had a picnic on a satanic altar. Satan wasn’t invited to any of my peccadilloes, although they were devil-may-care events and could be placed in one of two columns: Wow, That Was Fun or I Shouldn’t Have Done That. Thankfully, there were no disasters–not even among those that took place on an altar of love.

I’ve written about my little superstition. You know, making a wish as I toss a penny skyward. World peace. Justice for 9/11 victims. Medicare for all. An end to poverty. It’s not that I actually believe the penny throw will yield anything other than a new location for the coin. I’m just admitting to something that’s kind of craftily witchy in an abracadabra positive thinking sort of way.

With this said, I pronounce Christine O’Donnell a reactionary flake. Not for the sorcery experience, years ago, but for her current ideology and choices, the loony thoughts that form in her mind and emerge from her mouth.

She opposes abortion EVEN for victims of rape and incest.

She believes that masturbation is adultery.

She allegedly used $20,000 in campaign funds to pay personal expenses, like rent.

And O’Donnell said this: “American scientific companies are crossbreeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”

I’d like to know more about these “scientific companies” and Frankenmice “with fully functioning human brains.” We’re aware of genetically modified salmon. But where are humans and animals being hybridized? Check out this scene from The Fly for a look at crossbreeding of a human and an insect. And ask yourself if Christine O’Donnell has a fully-functioning brain.

We are inflicted with a plethora of Tea Party candidates whose agendas are extreme. They and their opinions are wildly, rock-star popular among a vocal and motivated group. Right now, Christine O’Donnell is trailing in the polls, but anything can happen–especially when e-voting machines are used. Plus, some voters will decide in favor of the pretty politician.

So, let’s sprint to the chase. I’m wondering when the Democrats, who are scared styoooopid by the success of these troglodytes, will assume a similar retro position. O’Donnell and the Tea-ers demand that women have wombs with a view–of and scrutinized by a peeping Tom government. Despite the rhetoric of the Democrats and the tactics of their emails–I received one on September 21 from Gen. Wesley Clark, telling me that “everything you and I care about is on the line”–the truth is in my path, there for me to stumble over. The party of “hope” and “change” has done nothing for progressives. The Democrats dance to neoconservatism with as much vigor as the Republicans do, to preserve their positions of power. For the Huge Corporations they represent, themselves, their jobs, and their cushy retirements. Without principle. Without any consideration for what they’re inflicting on us and on the world.

MISSY BEATTIE lives in Baltimore, Maryland, but she’s considering other locations. Reach her at missybeat@gmail.com.