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 Day 19

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It's Voting Season

Break Out the Clothespins

by MICHAEL DONNELLY

I’m not buying the “Democrat Bloodbath” scenario that’s being relentlessly pimped by the corporate media – “The Democrats are going to lose 20,000 seats in Congress; hundreds of statehouses…blah, blah, blah…” I believe the entire thing is an attempt to sow “reasonable doubt” for another round of election thefts. Period. The demographics just don’t bear out the “conventional wisdom” of the pundits. The Dems’ claim that “it’s all about suppressing the vote” also doesn’t ring true – the Dems have done enough on their own in that realm, squandering the filibuster-proof majority given them by common citizens on Imperial business as usual.

And, it’s those demographics that are behind a lot of the anger from the Right towards the Democrats. One of my snarky buddies says, “The whole Tea Party thing boils down to panicked, soon-to-be-a-minority white men who want to, as they themselves keep braying, take back our country from that foreign-born, Muslim, Socialist, Communist, Fascist —but, not a N—– president.”

While I think there’s quite a bit more to the Tea Parties than just fear of browner-skinned people in positions of power, there’s no denying that it plays heavily into it. Scared, easily manipulated white folks – predominantly male – have decided to back a bunch of wealthy Mean Girls, domestic abusers, homophobes and even an accused War Criminal in their desperate attempt to turn back a very real demographic tide. As George H. W. Bush would say, however, “Nah gah dah happen.” (Nah gah dah, that is, unless we see another round of “hanging chads,” floating ballots, criminally-corrupt Justices and willfully-blind media.)

Money Can’t Buy Me Love

We now know that despite spending a few billion of her own cash ($140 million, actually!), California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is trailing Dem retread Jerry Brown by over 13 points in the latest LA Times poll. At the same time, her fellow wealthy Californian, Carly Fiorina, trails Sen. Barbara Boxer by 8 points.

In Delaware, GOP/Tea Party/media darling Senate candidate Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnell is trailing by double digits. O’Donnell and fellow Tea Party Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck have both claimed they are running to "bring back Constitutional rule," yet both have denied the First Amendment’s separation of church and state dictate.

Perhaps, O’Donnell will garner a sinecure as the Rights’ answer to sex therapist Dr. Suzy Block with her enlightened views on sex: "It is not enough to be abstinent with other people, you also have to be abstinent alone. The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. You can’t masturbate without lust! … You’re going to be pleasing each other. And if he already knows what pleases him and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?"

And, "We took the Bible and prayer out of public schools, and now we’re having weekly shootings practically. We had the 60s sexual revolution, and now people are dying of AIDS."

In Nevada, Sharon Angle, flush with corporate cash, has a decent chance of unseating the ineffective, pugnacious Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; his own coffers brimming with cash and enjoying the backing of his state’s business establishment – Democrat and Republican. Angle, true to her constituency’s underlying fear of brown-skinned folks, has been running ads equating Hispanic immigrants with criminals and gang members.

Angle’s another Tea Party Constitutionalist, it seems, given her insightful take on the Second Amendment: "I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."

In Connecticut, the GOP has nominated Linda McMahon, co-owner of the steroid freak show know as World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., for Senate. McMahon, who ran one of the country’s most deadly businesses with a dozen employees dying premature deaths in the last ten years, had this take on Health Care – when asked what uninsured people should do if taken ill; "They do go to hospitals for care. They are not turned away. The hospitals treat them."

McMahon trails her Dem opponent, military service-embellisher Richard Blumenthal by double digits.

Other than Angle (maybe), the whole not-ready-for-prime-time GOP (Greed over Principle) Mean Girl cast of challengers is clearly going down…despite the boatloads of cash from Hedge Fund Central and mindless TV “experts.”

The Men are No Better

Alaska’s Senate race has seen Sarah Palin surrogate/GOP nominee Joe Miller’s Brownshirts handcuff a reporter who had the temerity to ask the candidate a few question. Police had to come and free him. Then it came out that Miller had once invaded fellow government co-workers’ computers to use them to cheat on a self-created poll, lied about it, lied about it again, lied about it again…and then was outed by a Court Order. Palin not only stands by him; she has increased their joint campaign appearances.

Tea Party Nation founder, Judson Phillips, wrote a diatribe attacking Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) because Ellison is an African-American Muslim. Judson wrote this nonsense recently, "He (Ellison) is the only Muslim member of Congress. He supports the Council for American Islamic Relations, HAMAS and has helped Congress send millions of tax dollars to terrorists in Gaza."

Kentucky GOP Senate candidate and Civil Rights Act opposer, Rand Pauls’ own Brownshirts were recently videotaped stomping on the head of a liberal protester. The stomper, Paul’s local campaign chair, preposterously called on the stompee to apologize to him!

Wealthy New York gubernatorial candidate and serial smut purveyor, Carl Paladino, trails fellow Italian-American Andrew Cuomo by 20+ points after a string of buffoonery. When confronted by the press about his illegitimate daughter, Paladino responded by accusing his opponent of "cheating on HIS wife." Paladino followed that up with a string of vile anti-Gay slurs. (On can just imagine his strategy had African-American current NY governor David Paterson chosen to run.)

Colorado’s Ken Buck, when asked why voters should pick him over his female opponent in the GOP Primary said, ”Because I do not wear high heels. She has questioned my manhood, and I think it’s fair to respond. I have cowboy boots, they have real bullshit on them." Indeed!

Continued Plutocrat/Corporate Control? You got it.

Since the Republicans are so odious, where does all the anger from the "Left" towards the Democrats come from – the “professional Left” the Obama Administration foolishly lambastes?

I went out to dinner with my college senior son the other night. He noted, “My generation’s done with voting. Obama was gonna end the wars, give us Health Care, make education affordable and keep Wall Street and the corporations from controlling the government. We all see how that turned out.”

The issues he cites have had a huge impact on his generation – many of his buddies have been to Iraq and Afghanistan or are still there; many struggle mightily and go into major debt for an education; many have minimum-wage jobs if they’re lucky to find a job at all. Most are on their own with little or no Health Insurance. And, as NY gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan has blasted onto the political landscape, for young people especially, “The rent is too damn high.”

"All Politics is Local"

When pressed on it, however, my son admitted that he and a number of his friends already have voted (here in Oregon, it’s by mail). “But, we’ll vote local. We’re just sick of politicians giving tax breaks to their wealthy friends while everything we believe in gets short-changed.”

Yep. In Oregon, wealthy GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley has, sure enough, called for another $800 million in tax breaks for…his wealthy backers. At the same time Dudley is making noise about reducing the state’s Minimum Wage! The Dem in the dead-heat race, former Gov. John Kitzhaber, will likely just continue shoveling tax monies to the Dems’ friends – the “green economy,” “Biomass energy” and “forest health” scammers. (What’s with all these geezer retreads? It’s the 21st Century. The GOP hasn’t had much trouble finding younger self-promoters itching to join the political elite and get well-remunerated to serve the oligarchy.)

One Party: Two Right Wings

There’s really only one Party; it has two right wings – the Corporate one and the Capitalist one. Each wing has their favored corporations and their favored plutocrats; both kowtow to the Pentagon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Prison Guard Unions, Wall Street, Big Banks, Big Religion and sundry eco-despoilers.

Elections these days basically boil down to this: either Democrat or GOP hucksters funneling money to their select corporations, raiding the Treasury to further line the pockets of the elite. That tax-cuts-for-the-rich-trickle-down voodoo has been the default mode for the past 32 years -unabated, whether a D or an R sat/sits in the White House, Congress, local Governor’s Manse or Legislature. Only difference is which elites get the favors. As the bumpersticker paraphrases Galbraith, “Under Republicans, man exploits man; under Democrats, it’s just the opposite.”

What little difference there is, is this: under Dubya, it was Big Oil (of course), King Coal, Big Timber, Big Ag, Big Pharma, and ominously, privatized Big Brother that greatly benefited. Halliburton was the poster child of the Wild West deregulatory days of Bush, Jr. from their infamous "no-bid" war contracts to the eventual, abysmal failure of their major oil services business at cementing and preventing the BP oil geyser.

In Clintontime’s own Deregulatory orgy, it was “high tech and telecommunications” – those good ‘ol bubbly days when Democratic Party National Chairman Terry McCauliffe hauled in $18 million on his $100,000 investment in Global Crossing – Bubba’s poster child – which itself, prior to Bankruptcy, parlayed a $1 million donation to Clinton’s campaign coffers (and later, another $1 million for his library) into a $400 million Pentagon contract from Clinton.

In Obamatime: it’s China (despite the recent blather about currency valuations), the Non-Profit establishment and the “Green Economy," absurdly including cutting down forests (read: ecosystems/life support system) to burn for electricity and billions for "clean" coal and renewed Nuclear Power.

Back to Oregon. A company owned by the girlfriend of the aforementioned Kitzhaber is one of the state’s top “green economy” firms which is now under State and Federal probes. Kitzhaber confirmed that he was once on the board of directors of the company, 3EStrategies. When asked if he still was, he replied, "I’m not sure if I am or not."

Kitzhaber also was the recipient of a Chris Dodd-esque VIP real estate loan he got while serving as Governor. The unusual 100% financed loan came from a brokerage firm, whose head Kitzhaber then appointed to the Oregon Investment Council, overseeing billions in state monies. Kitzhaber denied it all the relevant particulars, writing; "This week’s Willamette Week raises a question of whether or not I received a VIP home loan in 1999. The answer to that question is absolutely not." (The unasked question is why the "green" Gov needed a house in Portland from where he commuted to work in the Capital 45 miles away, when the tax-payers had already ponied up for a plush Governor’s Mansion in Salem during the term of his mentor – disgraced former governor and teen rapist Neil Goldshmidt.)

Last election, Oregon voters had to raise taxes $500 million to cover a shortfall. Coincidentally, the current Dem Governor had just funneled $550 million in tax subsidies into useless Wind Power farms that now blight the state, with tens of millions of further subsidies to come constructing new powerlines thru vast clearcut forest corridors – a boon to Big Timber. Yeah, you read that right – “useless” – without “base-load” steam generators (i.e. coal, nuke or gas-fired) connected to the same power delivery grid. $550 million of solar panels and small wind generators placed on individual homes and businesses would be quite useful; but decoupling from the grid also means decoupling from corporate campaign lucre…er, contributions. Coincidentally (again), a number of employees of the out-going Gov. Ted Kulongoski, now have garnered sinecures with the Wind Farms and other "green energy" companies.

The Evil of Two Lessers, again

So what’s a gal or fella to do? The Republicans are beyond redemption. The corporate Democrats sure don’t deserve votes. And, the Green Party imploded in an orgy of self-promotion years ago. For sure there will be some election theft, but the endless drumbeat Bloodbath scenario of the corporate press just won’t be enough for the GOP.

An important thing to note is that all these polls rely on polling people with land-line phones. People under 30 don’t have land-lines. That’s another reason I don’t buy the "GOP-takes-back-over" meme. The GOP will gain some seats, as traditionally happens in non-presidential year elections for the out-of-power party. But, not enough for a return to power in the Senate. In the House, the GOP needs a gain of 39 seats – well within the traditional margin; but, sans voting irregularities, I’m not even convinced of that. Nor will the Democrats losses in State races be as vast as predicted by the mainstream pundits, though they’ll still be paid to spin even one lost position as a "repudiation of the failed, out-of-the mainstream, Leftist policies of the Democrats."

In 2008, voters under age 30 went for Obama over McCain 15,000,000 – 8,000,000. Most youth, like my son and his friends, have already come to terms with the shift in ethnic and sexual preference Demographics. That’s always been a part of their lives, as has war – the forgotten issue this election. They, come November 2nd, will be holding their noses and voting for the retreads – both human and policy-wise.

MICHAEL DONNELLY is certain he will be accused of “suppressing the vote” for writing this. He has already voted. He can be reached at pahtoo@aol.com