Friday, October 24, 2008

The Average American Jane and Joe

John McCain and Sarah Palin love (yes, they do!) the average (pro-America, I must say) Joe and particularly unlicensed plumbers and hockey moms who live in small-town pro-America. Oh yes, Republicans love the average pro-America Joe (they keep forgetting about Jane; this concerns me).
Here you have some numbers about the “average America” to illustrate their love for Our Amerika:

  • According to the US Census Bureau, the average American, age 25 or older, made roughly $32,000 per year (in 2005), does not have a college degree (as of 2003), has been, is, or will be married as well as divorced at least once during his or her lifetime, lives in his or her own home in a suburban setting, and holds a white collar office job. Based on data from 2005, the average four-person family income as of 2008 is over $67,000.
  • The Iraq War has cost the average American family over $16,000 since the war began.
  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 2.2 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.4 percentage points.”
  • As of June 2008 both the rate of new home foreclosures and late payments were the highest on record going back to 1979.

So, what the Republicans do about the deep socio-economic and financial recession that we are facing, well, they go shopping!!!

“Since her selection as John McCain's running mate, the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on clothing and make-up for Gov. Sarah Palin” and her entire family, reported.

Let’s see what Mr. McCain used to think about banal campaign spending not too long ago:

The Huffington Post stated, “It was revealed that Palin's fashion budget for several weeks was more than four times the median salary of an American plumber ($37,514). To put it another way: Palin received more valuable clothes in one month than the average American household spends on clothes in 80 years. A Democrat put it in even blunter terms: her clothes were the cost of health care for 15 or so people.”

I cannot wait for another fours years of failed policies and brutal wars, right!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Proposal for NABO: The Basque Country is a nation and has the right to be independent

Ants’ Meat as a group of individuals with different political and national backgrounds has decided to pursue our proposal for the North American Basque Organizations (NABO) to discuss and hopefully approve in their next business meeting that it will take place in Reno, Nevada on November 8, 2008.

Consequently, we call for the different clubs associated to NABO to help us to sponsor our motion:

“The Basque Country or Euskal Herria, a nation constituted by the provinces of Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Lapurdi, Nafarroa, Nafarroa Beherea, and Zuberoa, has the same right to become a united and independent state as any other nation. The North American Basque Organizations will consequently work actively to promote the right of the Basque people to achieve the goal of independence if this is the will of the majority of the population of Euskal Herria.”

Basque homeland newspapers (e.g., Basque Nationalist Party’s (PNV) paper, Deia) are already aware of NABO’s involvement in their political affairs by favoring a PNV agenda. It is too late for NABO to play innocent stating that they are apolitical and non-partisan according to their statutes of incorporation. It is too late for that. It is time for NABO to be a leader and stop following the dictates of the PNV and the Basque Government.

Ants’ Meat respectfully requests that NABO recognize the Basque Country as a historical nation and the right of its people to seek an independent state, constituted by seven provinces, if this is their wish. That's all we ask for. The Federation of Basque-Argentinean Entities (FEVA) did it 53 years ago. It is about time that NABO does the same.

Is NABO less committed to the Basque Country than FEVA?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Internet and the Death of Rovian Politics

The Internet and the Death of Rovian Politics by Arianna Huffington

Age has finally become an issue for John McCain. But the problem isn't the candidate's 72 years; it's the antediluvian approach of his campaign.
McCain is running a textbook Rovian race: fear-based, smear-based, anything goes. But it isn't working. The glitch in the well-oiled machine? The Internet.

"We are witnessing the end of Rovian politics," Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google told me. And YouTube, which Google bought in 2006 for $1.65 billion, is one of the causes of its demise.

Thanks to YouTube -- and blogging and instant fact-checking and viral emails -- it is getting harder and harder to get away with repeating brazen lies without paying a price, or to run under-the-radar smear campaigns without being exposed.

But the McCain campaign hasn't gotten the message, hence the blizzard of racist, alarmist, xenophobic, innuendo-laden accusations being splattered at Obama.

And it seems that the worse McCain is doing in the polls, the more his team is relying on the same gutter tactics. So over the next 15 days, look for the McCain campaign to become even uglier. That's what happens when following Rovian politics is your only strategy -- and Rovian politics isn't working.

McCain has stockpiled his campaign with Rove henchmen, including not one but three of the people responsible for the political mugging inflicted on him in 2000.

Just last week he brought on Warren Tompkins in an "unofficial" capacity to see how receptive North Carolina would be to some Rovian slime. After all, it's right next door to South Carolina, where in 2000 Tomkins and his buddies in the Bush campaign spread race-baiting rumors about McCain having an illegitimate black daughter (referring to McCain's adopted Bangladeshi daughter Bridget).

And those disgraceful robo-calls that McCain is running? They were done with the help of Jeff Larson and his firm FLS-Connect -- the same firm that created the robo-calls smearing McCain in 2000.

At the time, McCain's reaction to the attacks on him was: "I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like these."

His reaction now? I have a special place in my campaign for people like these!

So the Karl Rove specials keep coming. Obama and Ayers. Obama the Socialist. Obama and ACORN "destroying the fabric of democracy." Palin (herself the manifestation of Rovian decision-making) delineating which parts of "this great nation of ours" are "pro-American." (Interestingly, the sites of the 9/11 attacks didn't make the list.)

And, did you hear, Obama is also... black! And he wants to give your money to all the poor black people! McCain didn't come right out and say that, but it's surely what he insinuated in his radio address this weekend: "Barack Obama's tax plan would convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency." Somewhere, Karl Rove is smiling, Richard Nixon's southern strategy is waxing nostalgic, and John McCain's missing moral compass is getting steamed about John Lewis' evocation of the civil rights struggle.

But there is a diamond amidst all this dung: the lack of traction this Rovian politics is getting. It's as if Rove and his political arsonists keep lighting fires, only to see them doused by the powerful information spray the Internet has made possible.

The Internet has enabled the public to get to know candidates in a much fuller and more intimate way than in the old days (i.e. four years ago), when voters got to know them largely through 30-second campaign ads and quick sound bites chosen by TV news producers.

Compare that to the way over 6 million viewers (on YouTube alone) were able to watch the entirety of Obama's 37-minute speech on race -- or the thousands of other videos posted by the campaign and its supporters.

Back in the Dark Ages of 2004, when YouTube (and HuffPost, for that matter) didn't exist, a campaign could tell a brazen lie, and the media might call them on it. But if they kept repeating the lie again and again and again, the media would eventually let it go (see the Swiftboating of John Kerry). Traditional media like moving on to the next shiny thing. But bloggers love revisiting a story. So when Palin kept repeating her bridge to nowhere lie, bloggers kept calling her on it. Andrew Sullivan, for one, has made a cottage industry of calling Palin on her lies. And eventually, the truth filtered up and cost McCain credibility with his true base: journalists.

The Internet may make it easier to disseminate character smears, but it also makes it much less likely that these smears will stick.

As a result, the McCain campaign's insinuation-laden "Who is Barack Obama?" was rendered more comical than spooky. Who is Barack Obama? The guy we've been watching over and over and over during the last two years. We've seen him. We know him. And we can remind ourselves about him with a quick Google search and a mouse click.

Obama "has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day," and "over the past two years, Obama has clearly worn well with voters." Those are the words of David Brooks, who has gotten to know Obama just like the rest of us.

Four years ago, McCain's Rovian race-based appeals to our darker demons might have worked. This year, they are blowing up in McCain's face. And in the face of the entire GOP.

Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama as "a transformational figure" was powerful. But even more powerful was his withering indictment of the state of the Republican Party and the cancer of Rovian politics.
It was similar to the diagnosis of Christopher Buckley following his endorsement of Obama: "To paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan, I haven't left the Republican Party. It left me."

There are many other anti-Rove Republicans abandoning their party. I've had several Republican friends tell me privately what Powell and Buckley told the world publicly: that they're voting for Obama. Most of them not because they like Obama, but because they can't stand what Bush, Rove and now McCain and Palin have done to their party.

Rovian politics may or may not end up destroying the GOP. But, thanks to the Internet, with a bit of luck it will no longer have the power to befoul our democracy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Grumpy Old Man: Mr. McMean

As we saw last night during the final debate between Senator Barack Hussein Obama and Senator John McCain, (aka Mr. McMean), there is no doubt that race is becoming a huge factor for some radical elements of the Republican Party. Just ask any of your friends about why they aren’t going to vote for Obama: “He is black,” or “he has a funny name,” or “he is a Muslim,” are some of the recurrent answers. We wouldn’t have this discussion if Mr. Obama’s, the next President of the United States of America, name is Joe Wurzelbacher, for instance. To us and many others, Thank God, race should not be a factor but for radical McMean it is…To us, a huge factor is the age of Mr. McMean. He already stated that he would only run for one term. Thanks but no thanks! No term is better than one term, for sure.

Mr. McMean was agitated and angry throughout the entire debate. He acted as a grumpy old man off his meds. Some of his pills didn’t seem to reach some of his neurons and his lack of “eloquence” was a trademark of his sermons.

Mr. McMean kept talking about how “change is coming” like if it was a biblical prophecy. But, he failed to explain his own plans on health, education, taxes and finance. Seriously, who really cares about people losing their jobs, homes, and retirement plans? For McMean there are more serious issues such as… (We are still waiting, “my friend”).

Like a grumpy old preacher who blasts the unfaithful for not believing on the “fact” that “change is coming,” he spoke to his unconditional believers with great passion. “Forget about the rest of the nation, and let’s focus on the guys who listen to me,” was his motto. Obviously, Joe “The Plumber” became the personification of his America; what about Jane “The “Plumber” or Jane “The Doctor,” or Jane “The General”? “Well, women are just playing silly pretending to be unhealthy so they can perform abortions at will?” Is that right Mr. McMean?

Senator John McCain, you were cruel to women (see related post).

“Just again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama. He’s health for the mother. You know, that’s been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything. That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, ‘health.’”

In response, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, issued the following statement regarding Mr. McMean’s cruel remarks:

"Last night, John McCain showed he doesn't care about women's health when he described protecting 'the health of the woman' as 'extreme.' John McCain doesn't seem to understand that women's health matters. He blatantly showed that he doesn't trust women to decide what is in the best interest of their own health. Barack Obama, on the other hand, stood up for women's health."

Monday, October 13, 2008

For the Independence of the Basque Country-Euskal Herria

The North American Basque Organizations (NABO) was incorporated in 1973 “to promote, preserve and advance the historical, cultural, civic, social and fraternal interests and activities of the Basque people” (Article II, Section I). Article II, Section III, clearly states that “nothing herein contained shall be construed an authorizing or empowering the Corporation to promote, encourage, aid or advance any political ideology, movement, cause, party or activity, wherever located.” However, NABO is becoming increasingly involved in homeland partisan politics. It is about time that NABO becomes politically active regarding the present and future of the Basque Country.

The Federation of Basque-Argentinean Entities’ (FEVA) Article III (1955) states, “[FEVA] will attempt to unite Basque and Basque-Argentinean associations to better recognize Euskadi or Euskalherria, constituted by Araba, Benabarra, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Lapurdi, Navarra, and Zuberoa. As well as the defense of the imprescriptible rights of the Basque people, that they have as the ultimate goal the instauration of greater of self-determination, until accomplishing the unity of Euskalherria as an independent state.”

Following FEVA’s example regarding its political commitment towards the Basque Country, the Ants’ Meat Team would like to propose to NABO the approval of the following statement:

“The Basque Country or Euskal Herria, a nation constituted by the provinces of Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Lapurdi, Nafarroa, Nafarroa Beherea, and Zuberoa, has the same right to become a united and independent state as any other nation. The North American Basque Organizations will consequently work actively to promote the right of the Basque people to achieve the goal of independence if this is the will of the majority of the population of Euskal Herria.”

Ants’ Meat is seeking your support regarding the proposal. Please voice your opinions and distribute this post.

Friday, October 10, 2008

McCain’s Dishonorable and "Violent" Campaign

Senator Obama is being depicted as a terrorist, a socialist, and a traitor to his own country among many other things. Both Senator McCain and Governor Sarah Palin are carrying out a campaign based on false accusations while infusing hatred and fear to their most radical constituencies.

Where are the ethical boundaries of the Republican Party? Do McCain and Palin fully comprehend the dangers of making Senator Obama a target of their rhetorical apocalyptic arguments?


Questioner: I'm mad. I'm really mad. And what's gonna surprise you, it's not the economy. It's the socialists taking over our country. [applause] Sit down, I'm not done! Thank you. Let me finish, please. [laughter]

McCain: Excuse me. [laughter]

Questioner: Thank you. I think its so important in today's country to see what we are missing and what's really going on. When you have an Obama, Pelosi, and the rest of the hooligans up there gonna run this country, we gotta have our head examined. It's time that you two are representing us, and we are mad! So go get em! [applause, chants of USA!]

McCain: Well, I think I got the message. [laughter] Could I just say, the gentleman is right.

Ants’ Meat would like to remember Martin Luther King’s last speech. It seems that not much has changed for the last forty years.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sarah and Todd Palin: The Alaskan Secessionists

Ask yourself the following questions before thinking to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket:

Who is the real Sarah Palin?

Do you really believe that a person who has endorsed the beliefs and goals of the Alaska Independence Party—i.e., to break away from the United States of America by any means—can be in charge of our nation?

Would you leave your future on the hands of a person who hates America and desperately wants to secede from it?

The answer is simple: NO!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I am also "That One"

Dear Senator McCain,

After watching you last night debating Senator Barack Hussein Obama, now I am more convinced than ever that you are not going to win the elections. You sounded pathetic and looked tired. You are becoming a lonely and sad caricature of yourself on the hands of your campaign advisors and your second in command, Governor Palin, whose intellect and manners cannot be compared to any living creature on this planet.

You and Palin are becoming more show than substance, simple cartoon characters as part of The Original Mavericks (see related post) spoof that you two are so thrilled with. Just keep talking about invading countries, while thousands of Americans are losing their jobs and homes. Just keep insulting “that one.” Just keep labeling “that one” as a terrorist who hates America. Thank God that you wanted to carry out a clean and honorable campaign; thank God for that.

Of course, you and your surrogate don’t like to talk about the past, but you keep insisting on talking about your years in confinement; “my friends…my friends…my friends…my friends…” Well, news for you “my friend” I am NOT your friend!!! Enough about capitalizing on your years of service! Thanks for your time but ENOUGH!

You don’t like to talk about the disastrous past eight years of the Republican mandate. It was your party the one that has gotten us in deep financial and economic crisis. It was your party, “my friend.” But you like to keep talking about being a bi-partisan and how that’s the way ahead for the future of the country. News for you “my friend,” if you are truly unhappy about the system, leave the Republican Party and start your own party. Please, don’t preach us about how traditional parties don’t work or about how corrupt is Washington or Wall Street, particularly since you are part of the system that you hate so much. Do something about it, but you won’t because for the last thirty years you failed to do so.

There is no room for people like you in our Amerika. You represent the worst of Amerika. Retirement is waiting for you “my friend.” Palin can always find a job selling cosmetic products on a mall, “you betcha.” (Note: Ants’ Meat would like to apologize for this remark to all those who sell cosmetic products across Amerika. I am sure that Palin would let you down also.)

We are all “that one;” we are all Barack HUSSEIN Obama, and we are very proud of it. Obama is not “that one,” but The One. Shame on you Senator McCain!