2008 Elections: A Summary of Facts, Part I
Eww, don't touch me, old dude!
We all know this is a very important election. So important that the handwringing has already begun and Concern Trolls (people who pretend they're very concerned about a candidate's chances while simultaneously sliming said candidate and severely depressing said candidate's supporters*) are surfacing like turds in the sewage reclamation plant.
If you're an Obama supporter, there is plenty of evidence out there that you should calm down. The polls go up, the polls go down, your head goes round and round. Here, for example, is a wonderful piece by Seth Colter Walls, Political Reporter for The Huffington Post, explaining how pollsters weight their polls — and, incidentally, explaining why you should not trust polls!
But the Republican candidates — Sarah Palin and John McCain — appear to giving so many people the heebie jeebies that we're obliged to do a little rooting around here and find out exactly what gives.
Do you want to see that face for the next four years?
Here, in brief, is what John McCain says about his platform:
- You say you have "A pro-growth, pro-jobs strategy to get our economy back on track."
Well, everybody wants one of those. How'd'you plan to deliver one, John? Especially after telling us “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” [...].
Dude, it's 2008. There's a little over three months left to the year. This is not the time to be tellin' us you don't have a plan and you'll need some on-the-job training, because, um, you know, you shoulda got that training back in 2000 when you were running FOR THE EXACT SAME JOB, YOU FUCKING DOOFUS. You've had eight years to fix this gap in your knowledge. Surely you were contemplating a second run for the Presidency. So what the fuck were you doing the past eight years, porking lobbyists, or lobbying for pork?
Based on the insults you're hurling at Democrats, it's kinda hard to believe you'll be able to scare up a "bi-partisan" National Commission on Workplace Flexibility and Choice. How long will they take to give you a "recommendation"? Because, y'know, that 9/11 Commission took a fucking long time to tell us anything. Just sayin'.
Oh, and giving people comp time instead of overtime money is not really helpful when real wages have been stagnant for a decade. We don't all have $100 million in the bank and seven houses, yaknow. Finally, we're proud of you for supporting all that cool legislation to help families and all, but, um, 1993 was, like FIFTEEN YEARS ago? Y'know, 20th Century, vs. 21st? Things have changed a bit?
- You say "Bringing costs under control is the only way to stop the erosion of affordable health insurance, save Medicare and Medicaid, protect private health benefits for retirees, and allow our companies to effectively compete around the world."
By giving us $5,000 per family (regardless of economic circumstances) for health insurance? Put down the crack pipe, dude. We pay double that for two adults with no degenerative diseases and few drug copays. That doesn't include vision or dental, which we pay separately. Besides, without jobs and unemployment hovering over 6 per cent and the current economic collapse, how the fuck are we supposed to pay for this insurance?
Are you seriously going to hand every American family, rich and poor, $5K out of the treasury? Cause you might run out of paper to print that money, yaknow. You say: "When families are informed about medical choices, they are more capable of making their own decisions and often decide against unnecessary options." You mean when you tell them here's your $5K and you can't afford surgery for your kid's cleft palate on that, they'll forgo the surgery, right? Will Cindy's charity step up to the plate? I hear they do lots of cleft palate surgeries in other countries.
Oh, btw, John? Your statement "John McCain will promote the rapid deployment of 21st century information systems and technology to improve patient safety, enhance quality and lower costs"? Doesn't sound too good considering how much of our medical information processing has been outsourced and leaked to identity theft rings.
- You say you "believe[s] that the highest priority for any President is protecting the lives of American citizens, defending their personal freedom, and securing our land and resources.
Does that mean you'll be revoking the Patriot Act in accordance with the Fourth Amendment's guarantee of our right to be secure in our "persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures"? Will you force the telcos to obey the law and cease their unconstitutional spying on Americans?
Will you restore the people's right "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances" according to the First Amendment to the Constitution? Or was the attack on the protestors and the press at the RNC just a taste of things to come?
- You say you have "fought to honor our national commitment to our veterans who have given their careers and livelihoods to ensuring our freedom," you say.
Why, then, did you vote against the Webb amendment to give troops more rest time between deployments? Why, in July 2007, did you vote against troop drawdown in Iraq? Why, in March 2007, did you not even bother to show up to vote on troop drawdown? Why, in February, did you fail to show up to vote against condemning the "surge"?
Why did you vote against increasing the VA's health care facilities budget? Why did you repeatedly vote against increasing the VA's budget for outpatient care and treatment?
Why, in February 2006, did you vote against closing the corporate tax loophole and awarding any monies thereby earned to the VA to provide treatment for injured veterans? You did the same thing in March 2004, preferring your corporate cronies to the veterans who have loyally served their nation.
So when you say you have fought to honor these brave men and women, who were you fighting? Did you not know that injured veterans were lying neglected at Walter Reed?
You're drawing 100 per cent disability pay, Senator. Nearly $60,000 a year. With a yearly income of around $6 million, why are you taking that pension, when you don't need it? You have seven houses, Senator. You spend $520 on a pair of shoes.
Did you know that thousands of veterans have been denied disability benefits, Senator?
Even without your wife's $100 million fortune, you're not poor, Senator. You earn $169,300 annually as a Senator. Add your tax-exempt disability pay and your Social Security income ($1,930/mo=$23,960/pa) and your book royalties of $176,508. That's a lot of money, Senator. $369,768 in taxable income and approximately $60,000 in non-taxable income. Your lifetime health care is provided by us, the taxpayers. You don't have to pay a cent for it. You don't pay a cent for housing, either, or for your children's food, clothing, health care, housing, transportation, education, and other incidental expenses.
So why are you taking disability money and social security money when the median household income is $50,000 a year, Senator? If you're 100% disabled, you shouldn't be running for office. And if you're not, you shouldn't be taking the money.
- You say you have "a broad and cohesive vision for the future of American innovation."
Really? Your "broad and cohesive vision" — that of a man who still does not know how to log on to a computer or access the Internet, who doesn't know the difference between Google and the World-Wide Web, appears to consist of fiscal incentives combined with low taxes and deregulation to stimulate innovation.
Have you talked to Phil Gramm or Alan Greenspan lately? Because that approach was tried with the financials markets, and do you know where that got us? Oh wait, we forgot, your friend Phil Gramm is one of those rich scoundrels who helped respected Swiss bank UBS lose 70 per cent of its value since he signed on; he and his wife Wendy are deeply involved with deregulating the energy markets, the Enron scandal, and deregulation of the EPA. Plus, richie rich Phil thinks the recession is "mental" and Americans are a "nation of whiners" because they can't all land jobs as VP of UBS, helping wealthy Americans evade taxes.
Meanwhile, for your delectation: