1. John lured me to the tv twice today, with a classic Route 66 episode guest starring Martin Sheen and James Caan, and with new episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
2. This Presidential Election cycle is turning me into a hardcore political junkie, probably for the first time in my life.
Late last night, say from 2 AM to 4 AM, I wrote an entry on my Obama blog called "They Also Serve Who Only Scan and Copy-Paste." Don't bother to look for it; it's not there, although I may reuse that title sometime soon. The article disappeared into the ether due to site maintenance, and my forgetting to copy the piece before attempting to post. It was about the fact that the Obama buttons I designed have been blowing out the door of the campaign office, especially the Barkers for Obama ones. They made nearly 1,000 buttons between Tuesday and Friday, and although not all of them were my designs they've probably sold hundreds of them. Last night, on request, I added to the range with these:
And, just for you, Bea:
This afternoon, the guy in charge of the campaign office here asked me to make him a Barkers design with his dog pictured instead of one of mine. "Sure!" I said. And a family asked me to do a larger version of the Kids one so they can have a T-shirt made.
Meanwhile, I myself still only have the defective buttons I made a few days ago, plus one Barkers and one Bloggers. I went down there today hoping to make more Barkers and Cool Cats and the Weekend Assignment designs, but there were still no Barkers on hand, the only Cool Cats were a few of the wrong cat, and I couldn;t work the circle cutter. I'm half convinced that the key to competent button making is to cut a goo circle on the crimble (printed design). There was no one down there today to help me with the mechanics of button making, so I have to put off my own button order until Monday.
The other political stuff of the day wasn't local. Over on the email account for mavarin@com, surrounded by nonsense characters, debt reduction come-ons and endless sex-oriented spam, I came across one with the subject line "7 Reasons Why Barack Obama is Not a Christian." The sender, a group called Christian Response, was offering to send out a DVD supposedly offering evidence for their spurious accusation. I didn't read the toxic email all the way through, but I did see that it ended with something like, "Who are you going to believe, Barack Obama or Jesus Christ?"
In accordance with my current policy on libelous spam, I emailed them back:
From: Karen @ thatword.com
To: Christian Response
Subject: Re: 7 Reasons Why Barack Obama is Not a Christian
You people should be ashamed of yourselves. This lie has been thoroughly debunked, as you well know:
As a Christian who is webmaster for a mainstream church, I am frankly appalled that some self-proclaimed Christians place one or two issues that Jesus never spoke about ahead of His mandates to love your neighbor, love your enemy, be a good steward, care for the poor and be pure of heart. Your willingness to lie and cheat in order to mislead Christians into voting against Obama on the basis of false information is an affront to everything Jesus stood for - and still does.
Oh, and by the way, take me off your mailing list. It will be one less odious spam to delete.
The political news of the day offered some perspective on this smear attempt. The New York Times ran a front page
Meanwhile, there are reports every day about Troopergate and other scandals and abuses of power by Sarah Palin as Wasilla mayor and Alaska governor. There are legitimate concerns being raised about John McCain's health, about unreported "per diems" on Palin's taxes, and about unreported gambling income and losses on McCain's.
And there's this, which if it holds up factually and gains traction in the media, will probably serve as the final nail in McCain's political coffin: Rolling Stone is publishing a major, major article on John McCain in its October 16th issue. It's online now:
The article documents his unprincipled, hotheaded, self-serving behavior throughout his entire career, from his school days as the arrogant, hotheaded son and grandson of four star generals through his behavior this year. Using lots of interviews and quotes from McCain himself, it paits a very dark picture of the man, much more in line with what we've seen from him over the last several months that that of the principled moderate and proponent of "straight talk" that many believed him to be. That (along with the "Maverick" label) appears now to have been a calculated smokescreen, a way to rebrand himself after the Keating 5 scandal and attract favorable press attention as a route to power. (Update: Obama's campaign has now brought up the Keating 5 scandal in a major way, pointing out its relevance to the current economic crisis. McCain's people are now scrambling to counter this with feeble denials to well-documented fact.)
As I read the Rolling Stone piece and quite a few other articles about McCain and Palin, I am led to an inescapable conclusion. The difference between digging up skeletons in McCain's and Palin's pasts and doing the same to Obama - as the Republicans are trying desperately to do now - is that McCain's skeletons are real. Obama's are the product of racist, paranoid, opportunistic, xenophobic fantasy. No matter that he's a Christian - call him a Muslim anyway, and the rubes will believe it. Shake people up with talk of "socialism" when Obama calls for universal health insurance, and hope that nobody notices that Ronald Reagan said the same thing about Medicare in a scaremongering LP that Palin quoted from in Thursday's debate. Invent or play up spurious connections between Obama and terrorists and lobbyists, and hope nobody listens when the media point out McCain's many lobbyists on staff and Palin's former connection with an indicted Senator. Keep the narrative going on Fox News, National Review Online and in viral emails, and above all, train your supporters to assume that anything the rest of the media may say is a liberal elite media lie.
Only it's not going to work any more. A few people will always be fooled, but the rest of us can see which skeletons are real, and which are made of cardboard.
P.S. So much for "just a quick entry!"