Nasty TV

What’s with the spate of lascivious, demeaning and downright nasty TV commercials?

The one that finally turned my stomach implied sexual congress between a gecko and a woman. That’s beyond pornography and descends into perversity.

I had pretty much taught myself to turn away from the babies throwing up, children misbehaving, bar maids being rude to customers and the series of ads featuring a self-absorbed surgeon insulting and ignoring his patient while crowing about his new cell-phone service, the ego-ridden girl doing the same while breaking up with her boyfriend and the equally ego-filled homeowner slandering his neighbor while clicking away on his cell – in other words, ugly people being ugly.

Who in their right minds would think these things are cute or amusing?

Who in their right minds would buy anything from company advertising in this way?

Not only are they travesties, they must also be counterproductive.

It would be nice if the TV industry moguls imposed some standards on commercials rather than just closing their eyes and raking in the money.

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2010 results

It’s a shame that so many of us voted our fears than in confidence of a resilient America.

Perhaps there was nostalgia for the good old days. In those days, however, unemployment in most of the country was three times what it is now, the result of a couple decades of a Republican White House and Congress.

The Democratic antidote that started the United States on the way back was massive public works at the cost of a massive public debt. Seventy years later, the nation is still benefiting from all of that, from Hoover Dam to TVA, to post offices, museums and other public buildings, Skyline Drive. In some cases, neglect is beginning to catch up, and restoration, rehab or replacement should be a top priority.

It also transformed the United States from a 98-pound weakling of a nation into the mightiest industrial power the world has ever seen just in time for World War II.

It’s also a shame that so many of us fell for the Republican/Tea Party con game. At least one voice of treason was defeated, although another was elected.

For example, there has been no government takeover of health care; there are no “death taxes,” there are no “death panels” – at least there weren’t until a Republican legislature and governor made themselves one. The governor seems especially proud of condemning at least 90 people to slow deaths.

We are stuck, however, with a senator who wants to bring back segregation and thinks it’s just fine that his pet goons beat up women. Also elected was a friend of felons who will become the voice of the casino industry in Congress and who is so ethically challenged that I doubt he can go two years without being indicted for something. Getting in, too, was a host of people who want to end completely or end Social Security as we know it as a massive boondoggle for Wall Street. More than one new senator wants to ship jobs to Asia. It’s an amazing collection of newcomers.

These are not really conservatives; they are radicals in the worst sense. Anyway, it seems hard for people to remember that Republicans and their ilk can only win when they can fool a majority of Americans to vote against their own interest.

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Buying elections

What sort of person is it that can walk around and then one day say, “I don’t have one of those, I think I’ll buy one,” and shells out $139 million from her purse to purchase her very own governorship.

But that’s what Meg Whitman, the Tea Party (formerly the Republican Party) candidate for governor of California, has spent just out of her personal fortune.

And she apparently has not had to sell a single one of her private jet planes.

This is a person who is proud of, and boasts of, firing thousands of workers while E-Bay chief executive.

This is a person who hires undocumented workers to toil at her mansions while publicly denouncing them.

This is a person whose feeling of entitlement knows no bounds.

The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

On a somewhat lesser scale, the same thing is happening in Connecticut and House and Senate races across the country.

Like too many of the Tea Party candidates, and certainly the people who are financing and manipulating them, Whitman thinks she can buy anything.

Maybe they are wrong. Maybe they can’t buy American democracy.

Posted in Buying elections, Election 2010 | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Slanting the news

How does a newspaper slant a news story and still remain factual?

My local daily – the Daily Item out of Sunbury, Pa. — presented a classic example in its lead story of Oct. 21.

The headline: Carney ahead by $900G in donations.

Democratic Rep. Chris Carney is being challenged by Tom Marino, the candidate for the Tea Party (successor to the Republican Party). Marino, of course, is the guy who did favors for felons while a federal attorney and who was forced to resign in disgrace.

The Item’s front-page story makes a big deal of the fact that much of the Carney money is coming from outside the House seat district. Down in the story, however, one finds that the proportion of outside money is about the same for both sides.

That isn’t the real kicker, though. Buried way inside, hidden in a little item in an election roundup, is a mention that the RNCC has outspent the DNCC by almost $500,000.

Beyond this is the flood of distorted and outright lying television advertising bought by the Chamber of with its slush fund from Big Oil, Big Banks, Big Insurance both domestic and foreign.

While I have not timed the ads, their airtime seems to be matched by the promotions of shadowy groups with innocuous-sounding names that are fronts for many of the Chamber pf Commerce people, as well as others.

Two days after the slanted front-page story, an inside election roundup noted that just one of these exploitive groups, 60 Plus Associates, had already spent close to $500,000.

The end of transparency in election spending is thanks to an embarrassing decision by a far-right Supreme Court, the product of the lamentable Bush administration, which also managed to shatter the U.S. economy in its drive to make the rich richer by impoverishing American workers and shoving as many people as possible out of the middle class.

This flood of outside money is just one example of Tea Party backers trying to drown democracy with greenbacks and simply buy an election.

The way the Item splits up its information makes it difficult for a reader to see what’s happening and also is slanting. The front-page story, and earlier and later efforts, makes it clear that sadly the Item has become a Tea Party shill.

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PA – Tom Marino

A political party defines itself is by the candidates it offers for election. There are three races in Pennsylvania that I am following most closely. They show that the Tea Party (formerly the Republican Party) does not care what sort of character it runs. Its Candidate 1 is a Wall Street hack who wants to destroy Social Security and ship as many jobs offshore as possible; its Candidate 2 is a buddy of thugs and felons; its Candidate 3 as a mayor ran his town into the ground.

Let’s take a closer look at Candidate 2, Tom Marino.

A local newspaper, the Daily Item, accused the incumbent, Rep. Chris Carney, of running “an ugly campaign” and used this as a reason to endorse Marino. What is really ugly is the folk at the Item let themselves be snowed by this guy, as the following letter to the Scranton Times makes clear:

Editor: As a former deputy director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, with 30 years of federal ethics experience, I am appalled at the conduct of Tom Marino while he was the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Every federal official is required to take ethics training annually. If Mr. Marino had paid attention, he would have known that you do not take a personal action in a case under your jurisdiction. That is a basic violation of the federal conflict of interest laws, and basic common sense. For Mr. Marino then to take a high-paying position with this convicted felon creates a further appearance of a conflict of interest.

When Mr. Marino claimed that he had a letter from the Justice Department giving him approval to write the reference letter, I knew that to be false. No Justice Department ethics official would ever give him approval to violate the law. As was subsequently revealed, there was no letter. Only Mr. Marino’s resignation stopped the Justice Department probe into his conduct.

I call on Mr. Marino to release the personal letter of reference he wrote on behalf of this convicted felon. Did he further violate ethics regulations by writing the letter on official Justice Department stationery? What exactly did the letter say? The letter needs to be released.

At a minimum, Mr. Marino is ethically challenged and should never be allowed in any type of federal, state or local government position. He certainly should not be allowed in the U.S. Congress, as we are already served extremely well by Rep. Chris Carney, a man of high integrity with years of honorable federal service.

JACK COVALESKI, LEWISBURG, UNION COUNTY

Unethical and possibly criminal then, a continuous liar now – a typical Tea Party candidate. The Item editors should be red-faced with shame at being fooled so badly.

In the best of times, the only way the old Republican Party could win an election was to fool the majority of the American electorate to vote against its own interest.

Not only is the Tea Party endorsing a call for treason, making it the party of treason; not only is it backing the end of civil rights and pushing for the exploitation of working men and women, it also wants the American people to think that facts don’t matter, that history doesn’t matter, that people don’t matter so long as they themselves and their cronies can feather their nests. In a sleazy bid for power, it will offer anyone as a candidate.

So far, I fail to see any redeeming qualities in any of these people.

Posted in Election 2010, Tea Party candidates | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Sarah Palin

Another way a political party defines itself is by the people who seize leadership positions. So let’s take a look at the Queen Bee of the Tea Party (formerly the Republican Party), Sarah Palin.

It has been a century and a half since the United States had a Know Nothing Party, but Ms. Palin with her stubborn insistence that ignorance is bliss has played a key role in reviving it. Actually, the Republican Party was its successor when the Know Nothing Party dissolved in 1860.  It was preceded by the Native American Party and the American Republican Party.

So in a way, Ms. Palin is going back to the very roots of the Republican Party, except back then they were honest enough to call themselves what they were.

An illustration of her reliance on bias and unwillingness to look at the world around her is this: If she would stop trying to see Russia from her porch and travel a fairly short distance, she would see that Alaska’s glaciers have retreated for miles and miles. Something is really happening!

A few other things about Ms. Palin: Everyone that gave her a helping hand on her climb up she stabbed in the back. She and the ex-First Dude will do their best to crucify anyone who gets in her way. She is a quitter who will go for the bucks rather than do her job.

All this omits the Babe factor. I have been warned that mentioning this is sexist. But how can you ignore it with someone who so blatantly flirts and flaunts. Basically, it is the only tool she has in her kit box and is the key to her rise to fame.

And whenever you have such a Babe as this, you have to identify the pimp and see where he is.

Not only is the Tea Party endorsing a call for treason, making it the party of treason; not only is it backing the end of civil rights and the end of labor rights, it also wants the American people to think that facts don’t matter, that history doesn’t matter, that people don’t matter so long as they themselves and their cronies can feather their nests.

In the best of times, the only way the old Republican Party could win an election was to fool the majority of the American electorate to vote against its own interest.

The three races that I am following most closely indicate that the Tea Party is following in the steps of its predecessor: Its Candidate 1 is a Wall Street hack who wants to destroy Social Security and ship as many jobs offshore as possible; its Candidate 2 is a buddy of thugs and felons; its Candidate 3 as a mayor ran his town into the ground.

I fail to see any redeeming qualities in any of these people.

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Rand Paul

A political party is defined by the candidates that it offers for public office. Let’s take a look at another Tea Party (formerly the Republican Party) candidate, this time in the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky.

Rand Paul has said that he wants to bring back segregation in public accommodations. His statements about economics show that he wants to go back to the days of the robber barons of the1890s, when laboring folk were expected to work 10 to 12 hours six days a week with no vacations until they were so bone-weary that they were dismissed and left to whatever care their families could manage to give them.

For Paul, that era of no civil rights and no worker rights were the glory days, and he wants them back.

His motto seems to be that of the olden pirates:

“I’VE GOT MINE, PULL UP THE GANG PLANK!”

These views make Paul a worthy companion to that noteworthy quitter, Sarah Palin, whose stubborn insistence that ignorance is bliss seems to have no bounds and is only matched by her greed.

They also show that the Tea Party (formerly the Republican Party) is not only the party of treason (as demonstrated in the earlier Sharron Angle article), it is also the party of resegregation and the exploitation of working Americans.

In the best of times, the only way the old Republican Party could win in an election was to fool the majority of the American electorate to vote against its own interest.

The three races I am following most closely are all in Pennsylvania. They show the Tea Party is following in the steps of its predecessor: Its Candidate 1 is a Wall Street hack who wants to destroy Social Security and ship as many jobs offshore as possible; its Candidate 2 is a buddy of thugs and felons; its Candidate 3 as a mayor ran his town into the ground.

I fail to see any redeeming qualities in any of these people.

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