POLITICS: Weekend Round-Up

As usual, Frank Rich says it better than I could regarding the McCain-Palin pandering to racial hatred.  The Sunday New York Times columnist is always must-reading, today as with every other Sunday.  His invoking the hate-mongering Westbrook Pegler and questioning why Palin hasn’t been more heavily scrutinized about citing his work is particularly apt.

As suspected would happen, an investigator on behalf of the Alaska State Legislature determined that Governor Sarah Palin abused the power of her office by illegally pressuring then firing former public safety commissioner Walter Monegan for his refusal to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten.  Heck of a vetting job, McCain.  More and more, the McCain-Palin ticket appears to be one of the very worst tickets, and quite possibly the worst-run campaign, in my lifetime.  It’s actually astounding to see their seemingly daily screw-ups.  Add this to the pile that for Palin includes, among other faux pas, the embarrassing Charles Gibson and Katie Couric interviews, her outright, stated unwillingness to answer the debate questions as posed to her, her claims to foreign-policy experience as Governor of Alaska that, according to the excellent reporter David Corn, amount to roughly 12 hours of mostly ceremonial meetings and public appearances in her 19 months as Governor, and you have one heck of a recipe for a butt-kicking November 4.  For those interested, you can read the Stephen Branchflower report to the Republican-dominated Legislative Council that unanimously commissioned and agreed with the report here.  So much for reforming Washington’s politics as usual, eh?

Speaking of reforming Washington’s politics as usual, I’d recommend the brilliant economist Joseph Stiglitz’s take in Vanity Fair on the economic crises facing us.  Stiglitz sees the big picture better than most and relays it well to the reader.

Some of you might want to remember today as Columbus Day, often thought of as the founding of America by a gold, glory, and religion-obsessed explorer–as if Native Americans hadn’t “discovered” what is now known as America thousands of years before.  I’ll also choose to remember it as ten years ago to the day that Matthew Shepard died in a Fort Collins, Colorado hospital several days after he was attacked, tortured, and left to die near Laramie, Wyoming.  Why?  Shepard was gay, and his attackers Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney, according to their girlfriends’ sworn testimony in court, plotted to rob and attack a gay man.  506 years after Columbus “discovered” America, our great nation was again reminded that not all Americans enjoy the same rights and protections that others do based upon their sexual orientation in addition to race, religion, color, gender, disability, and class position.  Keep the family and friends of Matthew Shepard in your thoughts today, and hope that you never have to deal with what they–and Shepard–endured.

Published in: on October 12, 2008 at 10:35 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. thank you for that moving tribute to a true american martyr matthew shepard-

    i can remember the candlelight vigil thousands of us attended 10 years ago on 5th ave. a night i shall never forget.

  2. I’m really enjoying your intelligent writing. Keep it up!


  3. Thanks Mike and Jane. It’s very kind of you.

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