Link to the Decision 2012–Elect St Louis’ Favorite Pet contest, which is going to feature one dog, one cat and “independent candidates” (hamsters?).  At this point, I’m thinking I would much rather watch these guys debate each other until November.  I bet they’re not going to cut Medicare or lie about their marathon time.

Let’s face it, I would probably vote for a dog over a human any day anyway–for the honesty factor, if nothing else.  Too bad Seamus isn’t around anymore, maybe he could have been recruited.

I have to admit, I must be one of the, like, five people on this planet who found Clint Eastwood’s schtick yesterday to be kind of amusing.  And that even though I completely disagree with him politically.  Obviously, even the Republicans and the Romney campaign are busy running away from that incident like it was a bad sewage spill, so I’m in a tiny minority on this.

I think the reason why I enjoyed the empty chair conversation is precisely the same reason that everyone else considers it a mistake–the fact that it was off the cuff, unscripted.  The conventions–and politics in general–have become such a tightly controlled, artificial show.  This is probably why the parts of the Republican convention which got a positive reception–Ann Romney’s speech, the Romney promotional video–left me cold.  These were the moments which went exactly according to script.   Wasn’t there a time when conventions included brawls and fisticuffs on the convention floor?  If only we could go back to those days.  It would make for a lot better TV watching, at least.

Granted, debating an imaginary opponent will always make you look silly.  After all, you can put any words in their mouth…which Clint certainly did.  It’s easy to berate an invisible Obama.  As a supporter of the President, I can imagine he would have much more relevant responses if he were there in person.  I still thought the rambling conversation was pretty funny.  As far as the implied swearing, well, I can see why people would find it offensive.  I know the President doesn’t swear in public…but then again, I’m of the opinion that politicians, and the rest of us, would be a lot healthier if we would swear a little more often.

Maybe the problem is that a personality like Clint’s doesn’t fit into a setting like the convention, and maybe the people who invited him to participate should have known this.  The audience seemed to enjoy it, but these are the same people who enjoy being told that Medicare will be privatized, so the fact that I liked the same speech they did might just mean that I’m living in Crazytown too.

Whatever the case, I’m secretly hoping that at next week’s Democratic convention they will have Joy Behar or Oprah giving a stern chiding to an invisible Mitt in an empty chair.  Unfortunately, the Obama campaign is smarter than that.

Hmmm, so the same people who can’t quite decide how to help college students and prevent student loan interest rates from doubling, will gladly spend the day kissing up to Jamie Dimon and telling him what a wonderful, wise CEO he is.  I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising, as over half of the Congresscritters are millionaires.  Naturally they can relate to him better than they can to the rest of us.  This isn’t meant as a partisan observation, by the way.  Both the Republicans *and* the Democrats in Congress are corporate-owned and mostly out of touch.

Still, I wish they would at least not be so obvious about it.  Raise your voice at Mr. Dimon just a tad, will you?  Pretend like you care.  But no, next time you do raise your voice it will be when you’re upset about those elderly again, exploiting the system with their greedy retirement needs.

All I can say is that if President Obama really does go for a Congress-bashing strategy this election season, as some say that he will, it may just work with this bunch.  Who knows if it will—I don’t think anybody is particularly well-liked at this point, not Barack, not Mitt and not the rest of the government.  It will probably come down to whoever is the least disliked at that crucial moment.  I’ll go with Barack, but I’ll be holding my nose just like everyone else will be…

In Salon, Gary Kamiya offers evidence that Mitt Romney might indeed be a robot:  “His zombie-like cheerfulness, his excessively regular features and his strangely perfect-looking family led to widespread suspicion that he had been assembled in Silicon Valley by a team of right-wing nanotechnologists and engineers and shipped secretly to GOP headquarters.”  And there is more proof given:  his incoherent attempts at humor and his sudden (encoded?) shifts of opinion.

My only wish is that Mitt were a better robot.  Like one of those bots that mop your house or do the dishes for you.  He has just enough bland good looks to make an okay sex-bot.  Or he could be cast as a cyborg extra in sci-fi movies and get shot at with lasers for our amusement.

But a robot that has been programmed to increase the gap between the rich and the poor?  Is that really a useful invention?  We already have plenty of human beings working towards that goal…


Interesting quote from Paul Krugman on the Rachel Maddow show:  “You’re watching the hereditary principle starting to make a comeback…We see that a little bit from Mitt Romney. We used to think it’s all about equal chances and starting line. Now it’s…people should have the right to pass advantages onto their children.” 

Is this true?  A week or so ago, we had SE Cupp extolling the virtues of marrying wealthy partners.  Is it still about the old American ideal of working hard for what you get in life?  Or has it become acceptable to be part of a ruling aristocracy?

It will be fascinating—and more than a little unnerving—to see if we keep moving in this direction.

I’m starting to think I need to make alternate plans in case Obama doesn’t win in 2012.  Not that I’m assuming he will lose, but I also think it’s dangerous to get too confident.  Whatever the outcome of the election, it will be sure to be a nail-biter, with lots of slander and dirty tricks.  And we all know that if Obama does lose, there will be a mood of general despair, and much gnashing of teeth and wailing will be heard in the land.  So it would be wise to prepare a Plan B for that possibility—if nothing else, to keep me from sinking into depression during the dark, post-apocalyptic election aftermath.

In my case, the plan is to get involved locally.  Thank God, no matter what else happens, Portland will remain a den of liberal iniquity.  So even if President Romney comes to pass—shudder—and starts repealing every good idea President Obama ever came up with, we can still work on building a progressive city right here.  I need to start looking at worthy local candidates and causes for 2012, get off my duff and get to work.

Tell me, am I completely off my rocker to be worried about the election?  Are all of you pretty much optimistic that Barack will win it in a landslide?  (Please say yes!)  And are any of you making preparations for what you will do in a case of a loss?  Such as leaving for a foreign country, or guiding your blue home state towards secession?  Let me know what you think.  I already have a prime spot underneath a local bridge picked out for my golden years in case Social Security gets privatized, so you can’t accuse me of not being ready for everything.

I’ve been scouring the news, searching for good 2012 predictions, and one word comes to mind:  boooring.  It seems the political and economic crisis we’ve been suffering under has broken our spirits.

Here are some general predictions I’ve found for the upcoming year:  Celebrities and politicians are going to be more cautious about their tweets, since they’ve put their foot in their mouth so many times last year (think Charlie Sheen etc).  Consumers will continue to be cautious about their shopping and will increase the amount of shopping they do locally.  In fact, the stock market has ended the year at exactly the same place where it started in 2011, so in spite of all of the turbulence and ups and downs, we’re essentially stuck in the same spot.  After disappointment in Obama’s pie in the sky promises, voters are likely to go with a more practical candidate, like a Romney.  Nations like Iran and North Korea will continue to threaten us, but their threats will end with posturing and be more bark than bite (actually, I hope that one is true).

The wonderful thing about a New Year is that everything is still possible.  Since this may be our very last year, let’s make this the best party ever.  Let’s throw caution to the four winds and bring some reckless excitement back into our lives.  In fact, let’s be crazy dreamers and give President Obama a second chance.

I am very fortunate to have friends in my life who love to party, who love wine and beer and cheese and belly dancing.  It will not take much prompting to convince them to make 2012 a supremely decadent year.  So there’s my New Year’s resolution.  I am going to start working on it tonight and I hope all of you do too…good luck!

Christmas may be gone, but the War on Christmas never ends.  Or the War on Christianity, by which I mean True Christianity—the Christianity of virtues, and traditional marriages, and pie-baking of various kinds.  I’m starting to realize just what sad shape the soldiers of Christmas are in these days.

Of course, the True Christians are excited at the thought of Obama getting kicked out of the White House in 2012, since as we all know, he’s secretly a Muslim.  But if he does lose, what is coming to replace him?  Mitt Romney—a Mormon. Definitely not a true believer by Tea Party standards.  Then there’s Gingrich.  He might just barely qualify to be a Christian, but as a Papist with multiple divorces under his belt, he’s not exactly a prize.  For some reason, all of the True Christian candidates have bombed in the polls.  Surely it’s not because their ideas suck.

No, let’s not forget that the heathens are being aided in their success by the media.  The journalists, who are atheists or agnostics (and Commies).  The entertainment industry, which is full of old hippies and pagans.  One might wonder why all of these disparate and often contradictory theologies would unite just so they can oppose the evangelical Christian.  There’s probably an intricate conspiracy theory connecting them all, one which I don’t have the time and energy to think of right now. 

Maybe I’ll ask the people who believe in a War on Christmas.