Archive for October 27th, 2008
Sometimes, when a political campaign has run out of ideas and senses that the prize is slipping through its fingers, it rolls up a sleeve and plunges an arm, shoulder deep, right down to the bottom of the barrel. The problem for John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the Republican Party is that the bottom was scraped clean long before it dropped out. Back when the polls were nip and tuck and the leaves had not yet begun to turn, Barack Obama had already been accused of betraying the troops, wanting to teach kindergartners all about sex, favoring infanticide, and being a friend of terrorists and terrorism. What was left? The anticlimactic answer came as the long Presidential march of 2008 staggered toward its final week: Senator Obama is a socialist.
“This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing,” Todd Akin, a Republican congressman from Missouri, told a McCain rally outside St. Louis. “It’s a referendum on socialism.” “With all due respect,” Senator George Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, said, “the man is a socialist.” At an airport rally in Roswell, New Mexico, a well-known landing spot for space aliens, Governor Palin warned against Obama’s tax proposals. “Friends,” she said, “now is no time to experiment with socialism.” And McCain, discussing those proposals, agreed that they sounded “a lot like socialism.” There hasn’t been so much talk of socialism in an American election since 1920, when Eugene Victor Debs, candidate of the Socialist Party, made his fifth run for President from a cell in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, where he was serving a ten-year sentence for opposing the First World War. (Debs got a million votes and was freed the following year by the new Republican President, Warren G. Harding, who immediately invited him to the White House for a friendly visit.)
As a buzzword, “socialism” had mostly good connotations in most of the world for most of the twentieth century. That’s why the Nazis called themselves national socialists. That’s why the Bolsheviks called their regime the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, obliging the socialist and social democratic parties of Europe (and America, for what it was worth) to make rescuing the “good name” of socialism one of their central missions. Socialists—one thinks of men like George Orwell, Willy Brandt, and Aneurin Bevan—were among Communism’s most passionate and effective enemies.
This is a very interesting and potentially highly important development: a wiki to track election problems. Bookmark the site. Here’s what they say:
Welcome to the Election Protection Wiki -
“Citizens tracking voter suppression and election integrity.”
The Election Protection Wiki is a non-partisan, non-profit collaboration of citizens, activists and researchers to build a one-stop-shop for reports of voter suppression and the systemic threats to election integrity. We collect just the straight facts that are fully referenced to external, verifiable sources, and we need your help.
Things you can do:
I read about this recently (and maybe even blogged it): make mayonnaise with bacon fat in lieu of oil. But now you can buy bacon mayonnaise, ready made.
Justice well served. Stevens is scum. Duke Cunningham got 8 years; Stevens should get 24.
More here, which begins:
A federal jury on Monday found Republican Sen. Ted Stevens guilty of lying on his financial disclosure forms, ending in disgrace the four-decade Senate career of a man whose imprint on Alaska dates to before statehood.
It is the highest-profile felony conviction in a sweeping four-year federal investigation into corruption in Alaska politics, and an almost unprecedented conviction by a jury of a sitting U.S. senator.
Jurors found that Stevens, 84, willfully filed false financial disclosure forms that hid such gifts as renovations that doubled his home in size. Those gifts, valued at as much as $250,000 over seven years, came mostly from his former friend Bill Allen, the star prosecution witness in Stevens’ trial and the former owner of Veco Corp. The oilfield-services company was one of Alaska’s largest private employers before Allen, caught up in the federal corruption probe, was forced to sell it last year.
Now, voters will decide whether Stevens, who has represented the state in the U.S. Senate since 1968 and before that helped usher in statehood for Alaska, should continue to serve as their senator. For the first time in his career, Stevens faces a competitive re-election fight, against Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
Stevens, who was indicted in late July, sought an early trial date, gambling he would face voters as an innocent man. Even without the conviction, though, to re-elect Stevens, voters would have to overlook four weeks of testimony that exposed some of the senator’s innermost financial and personal secrets to the world.
The guilty verdict will complicate not only his re-election bid but also the remainder of his term in the Senate. …
For lunch I made the sweet potato and tempeh stew, which is extremely tasty. I made typical changes:
- 3 large cloves of garlic instead of 1
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander (couldn’t find coriander seeds locally)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes instead of 1/4 tsp
- used the sweet potato unpeeled
- I had only maple yogurt, so I used that and it seemed an excellent choice
I did indeed have 2 lbs of sweet potatoes, and the stew had a very high ratio of stuff to liquid—which I like. In fact, I had to add 1 cup of water, so I ended up with 4 cups instead of 3. This stew is really excellent, at least to my taste.
A few days ago I made this recipe for chicken with vinegar, and it’s excellent. Just ask The Wife, who believes I’ve made it before (but I don’t think I have). Another extremely tasty dish.