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Oct. 22nd, 2008


Mental Pain!! -or- Why I can't see myself as a Republican

Those who know me personally know that I have my opinions.  What I believe about my opinions is that they are formed with real thought and research.  I'm not afraid to say I don't know something but I'm also not afraid to dig in and learn more about an issue.  I don't disregard people's views off-hand and I'm willing to understand where they are coming from.  I think I have always been like this.  When I submitted my first voter registration card, I registered independent because I felt party politics belongs in the Congress not in the electorate.

I still feel this way.

I can understand blindly supporting a team when it comes to something like Football.  I am a loyal 49ers fan and UNLV Rebel Football fan.  It's not easy to continuously support losing teams, but these are MY teams.  I graduated from UNLV and I have been an 49ers fan since the days of Joe Montana and Steve Young. 

But latching on to a political party and blindly supporting them despite the realities on the ground is simply ridiculous.  I don't support the Democratic Party.  I believe they have been grabastic and stupid for the last 8 years. 

Yet, I can't support the GOP either.  During my adult life, the GOP has become an increasingly polarizing force in our country.  They've been consistently negative, dividing the country on fake lines.  Everytime I tune into a right-wing radio show, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, I hear nothing but hate and division.  Anger at something that the "liberals" or the "crazy left" have supposedly done.  Screaming, angry speeches about liberals with a tone similar to Nazi propaganda about Jews ... and yet we allow this to continue in the name of America.  On Hannity's radio show, Hannity spews his hate speech then takes calls from people who call in only to agree with him on how terrible the liberals are while stroking him off. "Your a great American!"

The hypocrisy that runs rampant in this party is so blatant and has been so damaging to this country that it amazes me that there are people who still buy into the Republican brand.  George Bush said that he was a "Uniter", but we see case after case where offices of the Executive branch played divisive party politics with organizations meant to enforce law.  Environmental studies that counter Bush's agenda are squashed.  Regulatory agencies not enforcing the laws that Bush doesn't agree with.  Bush adding signing statements stating that he will sign items into law but refuse to enforce them.  US Attorneys sent out to prosecute political organizations are punishment for crossing the Bush administration, despite the merits of the case.  We know that many of these cases had no merit because the administration fired a handful of US Attorneys when they refused to support the cause of revenge.  One after the other, Republican Congressmen and Senators are being indicted for wrong doing or being out for their hypocrisy.  Senators that are anti-Gay who end up having affairs with other men.

Osama bin Laden is the mastermind of 9-11.  Osama is in Afghanistan or in Pakistan.  Yet somehow according to Bush and McCain and other Republicans, the "central front in the war on terror" is Iraq.  What?!

When Obama calls for a timeline in Iraq, it's a liberal wanting us to leave in defeat.  When the Iraq government and the Bush administration call for a timeline, it's because we are WINNING.  Again, WHAT?!!

Even the values of the party have narrowed to only include evangelical intolerant Christians who have disavowed nearly everything that America originally stood for.  They claim the values found in the Bible but forget those that are in the founding documents of the United States of America.  They are anti-illegal immigrant in a rabid way, yet they don't despise the businesses that hire these people.  They are anti-Muslim, thus why Obama can't be trusted because he might have studied the Quran as a child in a Indonesian public elementary school.  They are anti-other Christian faiths that are different from their own, thus why Mitt Romney, a Mormon, lost the candidacy for President. 

I think a perfect example is this: My brother, a hard-core what I call "Fox News Republican" (or a person who listens and regurgitates everything stated on Hannity or O'Reilly as gospel), tries to tell me how bad Barack Obama is.  He forwards me the hate emails sent out about Obama that when actually scrutinized are nothing more than racist smears and baseless innuendo.  He tries to sell me on "Reaganomics" which supposedly fixed the inflation problem (despite the role of Paul Volker the then Fed Chair).  Or he tries to sell me on how John McCain was the only one who stood up about Fannie and Freddie, which ended up being completely false.  He cosigned a bill that died in committee back when the GOP was the ruling party in both the House and Senate.  Somehow he tries to blame all this stuff on the Democrats, but when I point out how he is again wrong on the facts - He gives up and says he hates Democrats because of how he feels his children should be raised and in which country they should be raised .... Huh?!?

I support Barack Obama (not the Democratic Party) because of the core principle which launched his national career, which launched his bid for the Presidency, and which has gathered around him supporters of all walks and political identities (right and left) ... the notion that we are NOT a collection of Red States and Blue States but we are THE UNITED STATES.  A message of unity among the division and hypocrisy that has infected our government.  And the only response from the Right is just more division and hate.  More smear and racism.  When Muslim didn't work it was racist, then a friend of terrorists, then a corrupt Chicago politico, now socialist or  soft on crime, all the old play books trying to defeat the campaign run on two ideas: UNITY and HOPE.

It's the resistance to these ideas which continue to push me and many Americans away from the GOP.


Cognitive Dissonance

cognitive dissonance

Main Entry:
cognitive dissonance
: psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously

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Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, with her daughter Willow holding her son Trig, campaigns at a rally in Henderson, Nev., Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008. Palin is giving the American Sign Language (ASL) hand sign for 'I Love You'. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)Palin tells kids the vice president 'runs' Senate AP - Wed Oct 22, 10:11 AM ET
WASHINGTON - Asked by a third-grader what a vice president does, Republican candidate Sarah Palin responded that the vice president is the president's "team mate" but also "runs the Senate" and "can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes."

Even Sarah Palin has come out and said she would prefer that the ‘robo calls’ stop – your ‘robo calls.’” McCain: “Well, Sarah is a maverick. ...
Baltimore Sun

Palin says voters 'irritated' by robocalls - White House '08
Oct 19, 2008 ... Palin says voters 'irritated' by robocalls - 'They get a bit irritated with just being inundated,' Palin said.

Oct 20, 2008 ... A Familiar Accent in Your Voice Mail? TPM readers report robocalls from Sarah Palin in Nevada and Wisconsin. Greg Sargent | TPMCafe Election ...
www.blogrunner.com/snapshot/D/2/1/palin_says_voters_irritated_by_robocalls/ - 88k -    

Spreading The Wealth In Socialist Alaska - And Response
posted October 22, 2008

Label it unfortunate irony or crass hypocrisy, but at the very moment Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are berating Sen. Obama over his alleged "socialist-spread-the-wealth" policies, Alaskans eagerly anticipate their annual welfare check from the state government.

Palin office defends charging state for kid travel AP - Wed Oct 22, 7:35 PM ET

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is allowed to charge taxpayers for her children's commercial airline tickets because they represent the state wherever they go with her, the governor's aides said Wednesday.


Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, left with daughters Piper, right, and Willow, holding son Trig, arrive at a rally in Henderson, Nev., Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

Palin says she considers herself intellectual AP - Wed Oct 22, 12:47 PM ET

NEW YORK - Does vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin consider herself intellectual? You betcha!

Oct. 20th, 2008

Obama '08

What do Warren Buffett, Paul Volker, and Colin Powell have in common?

... they're all supporting Barack Obama.  What? Even Powell? Yes!  Republican former-Sec of State and 4-star General Colin Powell, father of the Powell doctrine, has thrown his support behind Barack Obama. 

Among the litany of reasons Sec. Powell gave for departing from the GOP line, he cited the polarization and divisiveness of Republican Party politics and the racism in the so-called GOP orthodoxy.  As expected, the Republican media machine lashed out at the distinguished Sec. and General Powell for his choice despite how much consideration he gave and how articulately he laid out his case.  Slimey douchebag Rush Limbaugh basically called Powell a "racist", disregarding everything that he laid out as his rationale for the endorsement, stating simply that it was "TOTALLY ABOUT RACE!"

Perhaps these right-wing attacks would be Powell's case-in-point?

A few thoughts on Chicago ...

laurenchris2.jpg image by fraleyc
So, I just returned from a visit to Chicago and a couple of its suburbs (Naperville, Warrenville, Downers Grove, etc.).  It was my first time in the Chicago area if you don't count a terrible night spent in Midway Airport due to a cancelled flight a few years back. 

I have to say I can see why Lauren (the love of my life) wants to move back there.  The whole area is beautiful, with trees everywhere.  About the tree thing,
laurenchris.jpg image by fraleyc
GIVE ME A BREAK ... I love Las Vegas but not so many trees.  And it snows there too!  A fact that I am looking forward to but the locals kept trying to talk me down from.  I wouldn't hear it.

I loved roaming around Chicago on foot, mostly through the Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville area.  I could definitely live in the city but the houses in Naperville/Warrenville were nice too!  I was required to eat my way through the trip, a task I'm well suited to.  We hit up the Portillo's and White Castle, Heaven on Seven, and a cool Italian place in Lincoln Park called Skoozie.  The best damned lasagna I've had in a while!
chicago.jpg image by fraleyc
So, now I got to start my law school apps.  Three of the schools I'm looking at are in Chicago (Kent, DePaul, Loyola).  I hope it works out because Lauren is anxious to go home and having been there I'm thinking I would love to live there ... at least for a while.

-- CF

<-- (taking from the observation deck of the Sears Tower with ye olde iphone)

Oct. 17th, 2008


McCain and Obama Roast themselves and each other ... too funny

Just one day after going at it in the last presidential debate, the two candidates got together at a charity event to tell some jokes ...

This video has multiple parts.

Oct. 9th, 2008

Obama &#39;08

McCain looks for Mr Puddles! [Too Funny!]

Obama &#39;08

McCain in the Membrane 10/09/2008


Things That Make You Go Hmmm ...

Palin pre-empts state report, clears self in probe

Alaska Supreme Court justice Walter Carpeneti, right, looks through a book of Alaska Statutes as attorneys give oral arguments before the Alaska Supreme Court in Anchorage, Alaska, Wednesday Oct. 8, 2008 on whether to shut down an abuse-of-power investigation into Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Justices Robert Eastaugh, right, listens.  The state Supreme Court refused Thursday to halt the ethics investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin. (AP Photo/Al Grillo) 
[AP] 10-09-2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Trying to head off a potentially embarrassing state ethics report on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report Thursday that clears her of any wrongdoing. more ...

So let me get this straight, Sarah Palin can clear herself as long as she releases her report first?

So all these years, could I have been getting out of my speeding tickets by simply writing up a ticket faster than the cop?  OJ could have avoided the guilty verdict by standing up and saying "Your Honor, I find the defendant NOT GUILTY!" ??? 

Someone please explain this to me ...

-- When the so called "Troopergate" issue first started getting play, it was mentioned and dismissed nearly in the same breathe.  The story went something like this:  Gov. Palin is cooperating with a bipartisan investigation about the firing of the Public Safety commissioner.  It was alleged that he would not fire a trooper who was the former husband of Palin's sister and an all around douche.

The problem comes when the bipartisan, independent investigation took on political circus status when the McCain campaign began flying in armies of lawyers to start blocking/stalling the investigation and compelling witnesses to stop cooperating.  Todd "The First Dude" Palin ignored a subpoena and refused to testify.  These aren't the actions of a public official who has nothing to hide.

They should have let the investigation run and when she was found to be backing up her sister against a douchebag (if that was the case), the people would have supported her decision no matter how unprofessional.

.. but that's not as much fun I guess!

Obama &#39;08

Rednecks for Obama ... this is Awesome!!

Tony Viessman(L), founder of the grassroots campaign group 'Rednecks for Obama,' and friend Les Spencer demonstrate on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri on October 2, 2008.(AFP/File/Michael Mathes)'Rednecks for Obama' want to bridge yawning culture gap

by Michael Mathes Thu Oct 9, 12:23 PM ET


SAINT LOUIS, Missouri (AFP) - When Barack Obama's campaign bus made a swing through Missouri in July, the unlikeliest of supporters were waiting for him -- or rather two of them, holding the banner: "Rednecks for Obama."  more ...

Oct. 8th, 2008


Why are folks pissed about the 'Bail-Out'? Hmmm ....

Logo of American International Group Inc. outside their office ...

After Bailout, AIG Executives Head to Resort

washingtonpost.com UPDATED: 11:31 a.m.
Less than a week after the federal government offered an $85 billion bailout to insurance giant AIG, the company held a week-long retreat for its executives at the luxury St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., running up a tab of $440,000, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said today at the the opening of a House committee hearing about the near-failure of the insurance giant. more ...

AIG Gets More Government Bailout Cash


Only one day after it was revealed that AIG had sprung for a $440,000 spa vacation shortly after getting an $84 billion government-loan bailout comes this report: The government is loaning AIG another $38 billion.

AIG, the world's largest insurer, said it has already drawn down $61 billion on its $84 billion line of credit from the government. AIG's financial products division got into the mortgage-backed securities market and incurred billions in losses, sending the entire company teetering toward bankruptcy. The $84 billion loan was meant to help prop up AIG.

The New York branch of the Fed Reserve will borrow $37.8 billion in investment-grade securities from AIG in exchange for the cash.

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